Educational Outreach

The Department of Earth Science believes earth science is an important part of a student's education. An appreciation of the Earth and its systems is vital to understanding everyday problems such as pollution, limited energy resources, and geologic hazards. Our outreach program to local schools includes classroom visits, department tours and the development of educational materials based on local geology.

The Department of Earth Science is committed to enriching geoscience education in our local community. We conduct department tours, present talks to visiting students and travel to local schools if visiting UCSB is not possible.

We are pleased to bring you a variety of computer software available as freeware for use by teachers in their classrooms. Plate motion animations by Professor Tanya Atwater are available via Tanya's website.

For information pertaining to scheduling a Department visit or for questions concerning the Atwater animations, please telephone 893-3329 or email UCSB Earth Science Outreach.

Bancroft Mineral Collection (link to website)

The internationally prized collection of minerals and gem crystals featured on this web site and displayed in the Department of Earth Science at UC Santa Barbara, was a generous gift from the Bancroft family. Edward R. Bancroft, a teacher and gem cutter, offered the collection to the department, and Ed's parents—Peter Bancroft, class of '41, and his wife, Virginia—had a case especially designed and built to display the specimens.

For more than 50 years, the Bancroft family has had a close friendship with UCSB, contributing valuable minerals, gems, and fossils to geology, and a variety of other unique educational collections.

“Edward chose UCSB as the home for the collection because of our great affection for the university and its faculty, which developed while I was a student at the Riviera campus where Virginia worked,” said Peter Bancroft, who holds an undergraduate degree in education from UCSB when it was a state college.

Peter Bancroft's most memorable professor was the late geologist Charles Douglas Woodhouse, a mineralogist who was deeply committed to his students.

“When there was no money to pay his salary, Woodhouse taught for free," said Bancroft, a retired educator and an author of books about minerals. "His dedication to students so impressed us.”