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June 9, 1997

From RNA to football: UCSC hosts a wide range of summer conferences

By Francine Tyler

UCSC will host nearly 60 camps, conferences, institutes, and meetings this summer, on subjects ranging from the structure of RNA to playing football.

More than 10,000 visitors are expected to come to the campus for the 10-week conference season, which lasts from June 22 to August 30 this year.

The conference program generates roughly $3 million each year for UCSC. Conference guests purchase food and services from the campus and occupy the 2,400 beds at UCSC's eight residential colleges. Last year, the income generated from the summer season helped to offset room-and-board rates charged to each UCSC student this year by about $200. Other income was returned to UCSC's colleges to help support their programs for students. In addition, nearly 40 students will work for the conference program this summer.

Approximately 60 percent of summer bookings come from UCSC Extension, Summer Session, and academic programs sponsored by faculty and staff. Sports teams, businesses, youth groups, and government and professional organizations make up the remaining 40 percent of bookings.

Some of this year's conferences include:

RNA Structure (June 25-29).
Knowing the structure of ribonucleic acid (RNA), scientists could more effectively fight viruses like AIDS or cancer, design better medicines, or better understand how life originated on earth. At the first international conference focused solely on the structural secrets of this acid, approximately 270 scientists will discuss their research. Abstracts and posters will be presented, and methods for determining RNA structure--from the use of computer models to nuclear magnetic resonance--will be discussed. The conference is sponsored by UCSC's Center for the Molecular Biology of RNA.

Yo Puedo (June 30–July 26).
Yo Puedo aims to foster self-esteem and self-confidence in high school students through a program of academic classes and leadership training. Sponsored and funded by the Migrant Education Program, Region XVI, of the Monterey County Office of Education, the camp is open to and free for teenagers from migrant families. During the residential program, the students participate in a range of activities, from classes in math, language, speech, and writing to outdoor hikes and barbecues.

UCSC Summer Session/Seaside Junior High School Math/Science Institute (July 1-25).
A group of seventh- and eighth-grade students will build and launch rockets, sail on a university research ship, and explore the NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View this summer while participating in Summer Session's Math/Science Institute. The 20 students, each from ethnic groups generally underrepresented at the university level, are from four middle schools in the Monterey Peninsula Unified School District. During the residential institute, they will study a challenging program of subjects, including physics, mathematics, marine biology, chemistry, literature, and computer science.

EOP Summer Bridge Program (July 5-August 8).
One hundred incoming UCSC freshmen have been invited to this five-week residential program, which is designed to prepare them for college-level work at the university. Summer Bridge offers academic, social, and cultural activities to help students become familiar with an academic atmosphere and strengthen their analytical, critical-thinking, and problem-solving skills. It is sponsored by UCSC's Educational Opportunity Programs.

3rd & Long College Prep. Football Camp (July 6-10).
Combining athletics with academics, this summer program will provide nearly 50 boys with intensive football training and guide them toward college. The campers--ranging in age from 12 to 18--will play noncontact football and live on the UCSC campus. They'll learn football, academic, and life skills from coaches, professional athletes, test-preparation experts, college admissions counselors, and motivational speakers.

Reversions: 20th-Century Appropriations of 19th-Century Culture (August 7-10).
At this three-day conference, well-known scholars of 19th-century literature and culture will discuss the ways in which the late 20th century has rediscovered, appropriated, and adapted 19th-century culture. The conference is sponsored by the Dickens Project. A series of workshops designed to give teachers innovative ideas for teaching Dickens will take place in conjunction with the conference.

Guild of Natural Science Illustrators (August 9-16).
Approximately 125 science illustrators from across the country are expected to attend this 18th annual conference, which is designed to teach illustration techniques and increase professional illustrators' knowledge of their field. An exhibition at the Porter Sesnon Art Gallery of work by UCSC alumni, faculty, and staff will complement the conference, which is hosted by UCSC's Science Communication Program.

SCO Forum 97 (August 17-22).
More than 2,000 people from dozens of countries are expected to attend the 11th annual SCO Forum, an educational conference featuring courses on business and engineering topics affecting the information systems industry. SCO Forum is sponsored by The Santa Cruz Operation, Inc., a supplier of Unix server and host systems and related software.

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