Letter from the Director
During this, my first semester in the UCMP, it was exciting to witness first-hand the Museum firing on all of its formidable cylinders: in research, training, education and outreach, and in the management of the collections. The semester began with Ann Getty hosting a celebration of Tim White and his team's breakthrough discovery of the year, Ardipithecus ramidus. And the semester comes to a close with the announcement of the awards for graduate student research and graduation, reflecting one of the primary missions of the UCMP the development of the next generation of leading paleontologists. And in between, to pick just three milestones: (1) we had an outstanding year in education and outreach with Judy Scotchmoor being named a Fellow of the AAAS; (2) yet another great Cal Day, again revealing the talent and dedication of our students, collections staff, and faculty; and (3) the move of the Clark-Kerr collections to the new Regatta Building. And it is heartening to see that we have gained in the US News and World Report rankings of Paleobiology programs, moving to third (whatever this means!).
However, these accomplishments are just the tip of the iceberg. The tip matters because it is how we are measured. But underneath is all the unsung hard work that underpins these accomplishments the careful meticulous work, the inspiration, perspiration, planning, grant writing, and the work with colleagues and with institutions that support our work. This is the work that really needs to be applauded. I have been truly impressed by the commitment of everybody associated with the UCMP and feel proud to be in such company. Finally, on a more personal note, I would like to thank everyone for the very warm welcome into this most excellent UCMP community and wish you the best for the summer and coming academic year.
Photo by Jennifer Skene