University of California, San Diego


August 10, 2001


SUBJECT:  Managing Future Growth of UCSD's Scripps Institution of

Dear Colleagues:

Our series of internal communiqués on campus growth issues continues with this message from Charles Kennel, Vice Chancellor for Marine Sciences and Director of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. I am pleased to note that Scripps will celebrate its centennial anniversary in 2003. That observance will have a timely significance: its 100-year history of global leadership in the marine and environmental sciences has set Scripps on a due course toward future distinction through strategic growth.

As Vice Chancellor Kennel explains, Scripps' future growth will focus on integrating its three missions: to create and gather knowledge; to educate graduate and undergraduate students; and to put science to work in the stewardship of Earth's environment. Whether it is exploring the upper atmosphere, mapping the planetary oceans, or acquainting San Diegans with the wonders of our coastline, the Scripps Institution of Oceanography will build upon its long tradition of excellence.

                                                Robert C. Dynes



August 10, 2001

After nearly a century of adventure and discovery, Scripps Institution of Oceanography continues to lead the search for knowledge. The mission of Scripps is to seek, teach, and communicate scientific understanding of the oceans, atmosphere, Earth, and other planets for the benefit of society and the environment.

Scripps is a graduate research institution, and its growth is determined by scientific opportunity and funding. We believe that our contract and grant awards will increase over the next few years, due largely to a recent successful round of academic hiring and new federal funding opportunities.

Last year, the Scripps Graduate Department had significant success in student recruitment, and we will welcome 60 new graduate students this summer and fall. We project steady growth of our graduate enrollment from 159 students in the most recent academic year to 220 students by 2010-2011.

There also is potential for growth through Scripps's participation in undergraduate education as collaborations with the general campus in the earth and environmental sciences strengthen. We already administer the undergraduate earth science major, and a new vision for Scripps's role in undergraduate education is being developed.

We are strengthening diversity at Scripps by supporting a half-time, dedicated Diversity Coordinator who is working with an academic counterpart to facilitate and improve our diversity and outreach programs.

Scripps remains committed to playing a leadership role in the development of a UCSD-wide environmental science program. Through collaborations with medicine, engineering, and the biological, social, and information sciences, we are already building alliances that will serve as the foundation for this program.

Scripps's research enterprise continues to be strong, with several new research initiatives under way in coastal studies, marine biodiversity and conservation, marine genomics, numerical modeling of the oceans, and earthquakes and natural hazards. And, as always, Scripps scientists continue to stretch the boundaries of global ocean observations. It is anticipated that additional growth will occur in this area as momentum builds for support of comprehensive integrated global observation systems.

Scripps's capital program will have to be responsive to all of our initiatives, but the outlook for state resources to support capital projects is bleak, especially for increases in capacity space. To accommodate programmatic growth, we will increasingly rely on funding from private sources and innovative financing techniques. Approximately $17 million has been budgeted in the Scripps capital campaign for a new building to house emerging programs in marine biodiversity, coastal science, and marine genomics.

Nearly half of the funding needed for the Robert Paine Scripps Center has been raised. The center will provide a place where scientists from Scripps, the general campus, and the broader international science community can gather to discuss new, innovative ideas, prepare multi-investigator proposals, conduct scientific peer reviews, and link to conferences around the world. We hope to complete fund raising and begin construction in the spring of 2003.

The Birch Aquarium at Scripps brings about 300,000 visitors each year to the UCSD campus. In August 2001, the Birch Aquarium dedicates a new 13,000-gallon shark reef exhibit. The shark exhibit is the Birch Aquarium's latest outdoor tank and features educational and interactive displays for interpreting Scripps research about shark biology and conservation.

Scripps's foundations and its strengths lie in observational science. We plan to maintain and enhance our observational capabilities by developing new sensors and techniques for expanded global observations, by planning for replacement of the Scripps ship New Horizon by 2014, and by leading the planning efforts for renewal of the national fleet of research vessels.

All of these plans will help Scripps continue to be an international leader in originating basic research and developing scientists, and begin to advance the science needed for a sustainable balance between the natural environment and human activity.

                                                Charles F. Kennel
                                                Vice Chancellor, Marine Sciences
                                                Director, Scripps Institution of Oceanography