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May 17, 1999

UCSC offers a wealth of opportunities for summer exploration

By Francine Tyler

Summertime provides opportunities to explore UCSC. Most people who work here know that the university offers far more than textbooks and lectures, and summertime can be a good time to learn just how much more is offered by the campus and its facilities. Whether one wants to learn about marine mammals, tour a 100-year-old observatory, or take a stroll through an exotic garden, UCSC offers the opportunity. Admission is free, unless otherwise noted.

Tours of the UC Santa Cruz campus

The Office of Admissions offers tours of the UCSC campus on all weekdays and selected Saturdays throughout the year. The two-hour tour program starts at the Cook House near the campus's main entrance at Bay and High Streets. Reservations are required; call (831) 459-4008.

The Arboretum

Outlandish plants from faraway places are some of the first things visitors will see on a stroll through the colorful shrubs of the Arboretum's South African, Australian, and New Zealand gardens. The warm, still days of late summer are sometimes good for butterfly watching, and hummingbirds abound regardless of the weather. A research and teaching facility, the Arboretum is open year-round from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, except on Thanksgiving and Christmas. "Norrie's"--a gift shop selling plants (some new to the U.S.), cut flowers, wreaths, and books--is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. The Jean and Bill Lane Horticultural Library, a nonlending library of horticultural and botanical books, is open Wednesday through Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. The Arboretum is located on Empire Grade between the campus's main and west entrances. For information, call (831) 427-2998. For the gift shop, call (831) 423-4977.

Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems

Have you visited UCSC's organic Farm and historic Garden? The 25-acre Farm near the campus's main entrance and the four-acre Alan Chadwick Garden across McLaughlin Drive from Stevenson College are both open to the public daily. On the Farm's docent-led tours, visitors can learn about many aspects of organic gardening, including how to make and use compost and select plants that attract beneficial insects. Tours of the Farm take place at 2 p.m. on Sundays and 10 a.m. on Thursdays, with the exception of the first Sunday and Thursday of each month, when the tours take in the Chadwick Garden. Tours are canceled in the event of rain. The Farm and the Chadwick Garden are open every day from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. during the summer. Starting in mid-June and continuing through late October, organically grown produce and fresh flowers from the Farm & Garden are sold each Tuesday and Friday from noon to 6 p.m. in front of the Barn Theater at the intersection of Bay and High Streets. The center also sponsors classes and events through the summer and fall. For more information or to arrange special tours and class visits, call (831) 459-3240.

Joseph M. Long Marine Laboratory

Visitors are invited to open a "window of discovery" into the science of oceans and marine life at this working marine research laboratory on the bluffs above the Monterey Bay. Children and adults alike may gaze at gauzy moon jellies in the aquarium, hold a living sea star in the laboratory's touch pool, and view a blue whale skeleton. Trained docents answer questions and lead tours Tuesday through Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. year-round, except on holidays. Tours include a visit to the laboratory's marine mammal research pools, and special children's activities are offered during summer. Admission is $2 for adults, $1 for senior citizens and students, and free for children ages 16 and under. On the first Tuesday of every month, admission is free for everyone. Prearranged group tours and school programs are available on midweek mornings. The laboratory is located at the west end of Delaware Avenue in Santa Cruz. For more information, call (831) 459-4308.

Lick Observatory

A working observatory, Lick is located atop Mount Hamilton, 19 miles east of San Jose and about 60 miles from campus. The visitors' center is open from 12:30 to 5 p.m. weekdays and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends. Tours of the 36-inch refracting Lick Telescope start in the visitors' center every half hour between 1 and 4:30 p.m. on weekdays and from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekends. The visitors' gallery, which houses the 120-inch Shane Telescope, is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Both buildings are closed for Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day. Visitors should carry warm clothing and allow one hour to drive from San Jose. The observatory offers summertime viewing events. For more information, call (408) 274-5061.

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