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University of California, Irvine

The University of California, Irvine is one of the University of California campuses. UCI is situated in suburban Irvine, California and bordered on the north by a wetlands wildlife preserve. The campus was opened in 1965 and now serves some 18,000 students.

Academics UCI has two nobel laureates among its faculty members--F. Sherwood Rowland and Frederick Reines. It administers a medical school and a public teaching hospital, located some ten miles away in in Orange, California (a regular shuttle bus ties the campuses together).

UCI is also one of the very few academic organizations to offer degrees in Social Ecology.

UCIs engineering program is well-regarded, and supported by the local industry. Orange County includes world-famous biomedical, software, and aerospace companies, many of whom recruit from UCI's student body.

UCI also offers liberal arts programs, albeit on a smaller scale than the other fields. Besides top-10 programs in Philosophy, Classics and Literature, the university maintains undergraduate and graduate programs in Dance, Painting, Sculpture, Music, Creative writing and Theatre, often with prominent artists-in-residence. Many professors in the performing arts are directly connected to, and active in the nearby entertainment industry (Hollywood!).

Irvine's sports teams are called the Anteaters. They participate in the NCAA's Division I-AA, and in the Big West Conference[?] and the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation[?].


The campus has mid-20th-century modernistic buildings set around a central circular park. It is often used as a movie set for futuristic cities.

The local climate is a mild maritime mediterranean climate, with more than 200 days of sunlight per year. Temperatures vary from a low of 50F (15C) to a high of 90F (30C), with 2% to 20% humidity, and less than ten inches (25cm) of precipitation. Local (2 hour one-way) mountains provide winter sports from September to May. Local (30 minute one-way) beaches provide surfing and water sports from April to September, including the world surfing competition at Huntington Beach, California. Death Valley, Mt. Whitney, Yosemite, the Sierra Nevadas and several coastal mountain ranges are less than a day away by car. Los Angeles, Disneyland and Hollywood are an hour or two away by car. The campus has active sports clubs and outings.

Air quality is good to excellent most days; Irvine is not in the temperature-inversion area of Los Angeles. Despite the city environment, wildlife inhabit the University's central park and wetlands. The university had wolves up until 1985, and still has hawks, owls, coyotes, and (very shy) puma.

The local culture is considered cosmopolitan, diverse, and extremely casual. There are complaints that people are not very friendly off-campus, but more than twenty languages are spoken in the immediate area. English is adequate, Spanish is helpful. The county is a hotbed of rich conservatives, while the city of Irvine, is usually labelled as mostly liberal.

Locally, the housing market is one of the most expensive in the world, as Irvine, California has one of the highest average incomes. UCI has special programs to solve this problem. UCI was started with a 1000-acre land-grant from the Irvine Company, and has ample dormitory space, as well as several trailer-parks that permit students to live in small travel trailers. The local economy is vibrant, and provides jobs in all ranges of skills and earnings, from totally unskilled service work to skilled professions. Although Christian denominations predominate, relgious organizations of all types exist on-campus, in Irvine and nearby communities.

Food prices are low, and California fruits and vegetables are available at low prices year-around. The public water is potable, but expensive. Electricity is expensive.

Public transit consists of slow, hourly buses on major streets. Most students need a car, and university parking is difficult, despite large parking structures. Traffic jams on the local freeways are commonplace. Since the climate is warm, many students find a motorcycle or motorscooter convenient, even though California prohibits 2-cycle engines. Gasoline is inexpensive in nearby communities (though not near the university), because of nearby refineries.

External links

University of California Digital History Archives (http://sunsite.berkeley.edu/uchistory/general_history/campuses/uci/)

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