Together We Can Provide Solutions       

Here at the School of Social Ecology our students and faculty are fully engaged in the process of creating solutions to many of society's most systemic and pervasive problems and working directly with those most directly affected to help improve quality of life and the realization of our potential as individuals and communities. This work is vitally important and worthy of support from all of our alumni and friends. We encourage you to become partners with us in this worthwhile endeavor and support activities and areas of the greatest interest to you. 

For general support and online giving, please click here.

The School appreciates support in its priority giving areas, described below.
For additional information, please contact:                                        

Doug Colby
Senior Director of Development
(949) 824-0383

Dean's Award for Community Engagement

Volunteerism, a staple in our democracy, serves to educate individuals to the merits of public service, enrich the lives of those engaged in public service and addresses virtually every kind of pressing human problem or need. To emphasize the importance of social involvement, the Dean's Award for Community Engagement enables the School to recognize students who demonstrate both academic achievement and outstanding community service during their college experience. Each year 3 undergraduate and 3 graduate students receive financial support from alumni who contributed to the award.

Learn More...

Dean's Excellence Fund to Enhance Undergraduate Education

The Dean's Excellence Fund to Enhance Undergraduate Education was established to help ensure that our students realize and develop their full potential, in a rigorous academic environment dedicated to problem-focused research on pressing social issues. The initiatives that are supported by this fund include:

  • Field Study
  • Undergraduate Research Assistants
  • Research Collaboration
  • Honors Students
  • Lunch with a Faculty Member
  • Student Teacher Mentors

The School of Social Ecology continues, as it has since 1970, to produce cutting-edge research on issues critical to our communities in both Orange County and beyond, including water security, affordable housing, health and well-being, and crime and inequality.  Join us as we develop the next generation of leaders prepared to address these and other urgent challenges.

Metropolitan Futures Initiative (MFI)

Better communities and more effective solutions to common problems through integrative planning and collaboration beyond jurisdictional borders – those are the aims of the Metropolitan Futures Initiative (MFI), a collaboration between the departments of Planning, Policy and Design and Criminology, Law and Society in the School of Social Ecology. By sparking and sustaining thinking about the connections among seemingly disparate community problems, the initiative will bring together individuals and groups in a process of discovery, strategic thinking and planning. MFI research focuses on the interlinkages between various demographic, social, and economic processes and their consequences for the social relations and well-being of persons living in the southern California region. Concretely, these processes include studying the intersections among air quality, energy, water, and land use; the distribution of jobs and housing and transportation network supporting this distribution; and the connections among crime, neighborhood well-being, segregation, and social conflict within the region.

Learn More...

Thanks to a generous seed gift from FivePoint Communities and the Great Park Neighborhoods, the Initiative has released Regional Progress Reports in 2012 and 2014. The next report will be released in summer 2016.

To join this proactive discourse or join in the consortium of investors, please contact Doug Colby at (949) 824-0383 or

National Registry of Exonerations

The National Registry of Exonerations, which has recently relocated to the School of Social Ecology in the Newkirk Center for Science and Society, is the only organization that records and publicizes all exonerations in the country—with or without DNA; from Alaska and Tennessee to Los Angeles and New York. Exonerations range from those convicted in Drug and child abuse cases along with murders and rapes; famous cases and those that few have heard about. The Registry provides comprehensive information on exonerations of innocent criminal defendants in order to help prevent future false convictions by learning from past errors. Research and archival activities continue to grow at a rapid pace and your support will help ensure that this vital work continues unabated.  

For detailed information regarding these and other important Social Ecology efforts, please contact Jason Creque at (949) 824-0174 or