In this interview, we speak with Chris Lay, director of the Norris Center for Natural History, and alumni Dmitri Rodriguez and Shoo Selasky about the impact the natural history field quarter has had on their lives.
UCSC’s strong tradition of natural history education and research is due in no small part to Professor Kenneth S. Norris (1924-1998). Through his ground-breaking research, inspired teaching and mentorship, and charismatic leadership, Norris left a huge legacy that continues to benefit thousands of students and researchers worldwide. The Kenneth S. Norris Center for Natural History will continue to support many of Professor’s Norris’ endeavors as well as take his vision for natural history education and research to a broader community and state-wide level.
Browse our website to learn more about Ken, or read a biography about him by UCSC undergraduate Christopher Santomero in 2015.
Throughout his career, he wrote many books exploring his research and path towards discovery:
- The Porpoise Watcher (1974)
- Dolphin Days: The Life and Times of the Spinner Dolphin (1991)
- The Hawaiian Spinner Dolphin (1994)
- Mountain Time (2010)
This coming year will mark the 50th spring since Ken Norris started the first natural history field course at UC Santa Cruz. To commemorate this remarkable milestone, the Norris Center is planning a series of events this year: 50 Years of Wonder, Celebrating the First Half Century of Natural History at UC Santa Cruz
. At this first of four events, we will make a brief announcement/invitation to all our students/alumni to join us at our series of events over the next six months. These events will culminate in a large in-person gathering on June 3–5, 2022.