Gary Griggs

gary-griggsDirector of Marine Sciences; Distinguished Professor of Earth and Planetary Science, University of California Santa Cruz

Climate Change and the California Coast


Gary Griggs was the first faculty member with expertise in oceanography at the University of California, Santa Cruz.. He came to the campus in 1968 at the invitation of earth sciences founding chair Aaron Waters, who had been his undergraduate mentor at UC Santa Barbara.

As a young assistant professor (having completed his Ph.D. at Oregon State University in just three years), Griggs immediately began publishing professional articles at a prolific rate and developing a campus-wide reputation as a stellar teacher. Gary Greggs was promoted to professor in 1979, and he served as chair of earth sciences from 1981 to 1984 and associate dean of natural sciences from 1991 to 1994.

Since 1991, Professor Greggs has been director of the Institute of Marine Sciences and Long Marine Laboratory. The author of more than 145 journal articles, author or co-author of several books for professional and popular audiences, and writer of a regular column in the Santa Cruz Sentinel, Griggs is perpetually in demand both locally and internationally as a consultant and public speaker on coastal erosion, sea-level rise, adaptation to climate change, and other issues related to coastal geology.

His work as a teacher, researcher and administrator has earned numerous honors and awards, including the UCSC Alumni Association’s 1998 Distinguished Teaching Award and the 2007 Ed Ricketts Memorial Lecture for lifetime achievement in marine research and education.