XI. Events and Outreach Activities

A. Events

For current event dates/times, please see the UCSC Astro Google Calendar here: https://www.astro.ucsc.edu/news-events/Seminars/index.html

Astronomy Colloquia

Astronomy colloquia take place weekly in Natural Sciences Annex 101 and are preceded by coffee/tea and cookies in the CfAO atrium.

To be added to our weekly email distribution colloquia announcement list, please subscribe here!



FLASH is similar to a colloquium but more informal. FLASH is held every week. Students are encouraged to bring a lunch and listen to research presentations by other Astronomy graduate students, postdocs, faculty, and occasional visitors.


Planetary Lunch (PLUNCH)

A weekly OWL seminar or paper discussion on exoplanetary or solar system topics beginning the first full week of instruction each quarter


IMPS (The Inter[Stellar+Galactic] Medium Program of Studies)

The Inter[Stellar+Galactic] Medium Program of Studies (IMPS) at UC Santa Cruz is a research collaboration with focus on the gas in and outside of galaxies in both the local and distant universe


Astronomy on Tap

Astronomy on Tap is a free monthly event with the purpose of teaching the broader Santa Cruz community about astronomy, in general, and local astronomy research, in particular. The format consists of two ~15 minute talks that are separated by an astronomy trivia quiz. We welcome all areas of research and everybody is encouraged to give a talk. We usually decide on themes and ask the relevant people to prepare talks on the topic of the theme. Anyone is welcome to attend. There are plenty of opportunities for grad students to be involved from giving talks, to creating quizzes, to helping with the logistical and organizational details. 


Welcome Reception

At the start of each new academic year, the Astronomy Department hosts a reception to welcome our new faculty, staff, and first-year students to the Department. All faculty, staff, postdocs, and students are invited to attend. 


Prospective Student Visit

Every March we invite our prospective students to visit campus, learn more about the astronomy program, and meet current students and faculty. Astronomy students, faculty, and staff actively participate in the event planning and visit activities. Typically, there is a prospective student dinner and the entire Department is invited to attend with their families.

B. Outreach Activities & Summer Program

LAMAT STEM Diversity Program

The LAMAT program is an integrated eight-week summer program designed to introduce students to astrophysical research methods and tools through original research projects in computational astrophysics.

LAMAT targets undergraduate students in science and engineering currently enrolled in community colleges in California who might not have research experience, though applications from other 2-year institutions are welcome. 


The California State Summer School for Mathematics and Science (COSMOS)

COSMOS is a 4-week summer residential program for high school scholars with demonstrated interest and achievement in math and science. 


Center for Adaptive Optics (CfAO) Summer School

Other Worlds Laboratory (OWL) Summer Program

The purpose of the OWL program is to allow visitors to generate new ideas, nurture existing research projects and collaborations, and foster new ones. There is no theme or focus area – in this fast-moving exoplanets field we want the participants to drive the discussion and work on areas they feel is most pressing and exciting. The ESP program is modest in terms of planned activities, besides a daily coffee and a seminar with active discussion. It is not a conference, but rather a workshop to imagine and make progress on new ideas. Participants can expect access to shared offices on campus, discussion common areas, and of course immersion in Santa Cruz’s natural beauty.

Project for Inmate Education (PIE)

UCSC PIE is an organization founded by members of the UCSC astronomy and physics departments that is dedicated to providing free education to inmates in local jails. PIE started operating in spring 2009 with an algebra class for inmates at the Santa Cruz County Jail.

Science Internship Program (SIP)

SIP is a summer-long (10 week) research internship program for high-school students in STEM fields. UCSC faculty, graduate students, and post-doctoral researchers provide one-on-one mentoring of these high-school interns. The research projects are real in that they are not made up just for the high-school students; instead students are inserted into existing research projects here at UCSC.

Kavli Summer Program in Astrophysics (KSPA)

The Kavli Summer Program in Astrophysics runs for 6 weeks (nearly) every summer in alternance between various institutions world-wide and UC Santa Cruz. It hosts up to 15 established faculty, 15 post-doctoral researchers and 15 graduate students in addition to the local scientists. 

Galaxy Evolution Workshop