The San Francisco Bay Area is home to the foundation and has been home to Gordon and Betty Moore and their family for generations. It is also a truly unique metropolitan area, with unparalleled proximity to nature and top-notch science museums among its distinctive features.
Our San Francisco Bay Area Program reflects these roots, seeking to preserve the special character of the Bay Area region through focused investments in conservation and informal science education.
“We value the San Francisco Bay Area as home, for both the family and the foundation,” explained Ken Moore, chief program officer for the foundation’s Bay Area Program. “It is an honor and a responsibility to seek and support projects that can continue to bolster local conservation and science learning institutions to help preserve the region’s special character. We are profoundly grateful for the impact our grantees have had over the last 15 years.”
Together with other funders and partners, we have helped conserve natural habitat and ecosystem services within the Bay Area. Through fee acquisitions and conservation easements, we have directly supported permanent protection of more than 120,000 acres in the Bay Area.
This work began in 2001, when the foundation supported Peninsula Open Space Trust’s work on land acquisitions to “save the endangered coast” by conserving more than 20,000 acres of undeveloped open space. Since that time we have helped conserve iconic landscapes like Jenner Headlands, large working forests like Buckeye Forest (previously Preservation Ranch), multi-stakeholder properties like the San Vicente Redwoods (formerly Cemex Redwoods), wildlife linkages like those of Mount Diablo, and dozens of other high-conservation-value properties.
The foundation has also supported important public-private partnerships, like the 2003 collaboration to acquire and support initial stewardship planning for the South Bay Salt Ponds. Funding has likewise boosted conservation science, with grants like those to UC Santa Cruz to study human impacts on puma populations and to Pepperwood Preserve to improve the climate resilience of Bay Area open space.
Our funding has also sought to help prioritize conservation projects throughout the region, from supporting the Freshwater Trust’s partnership with Google to use a GIS-based tool and methodology for assessing restoration opportunities in the Russian River watershed to helping the Bay Area Open Space Council’s Conservation Lands Network. In fifteen years of work, our grantees have dramatically increased the number of conserved landscapes around and within the Bay.
Informal Science Learning
Through grants to the Bay Area’s science and technology-rich educational institutions, particularly local science and technology museums, we have supported work to promote the wonders and importance of scientific exploration and discovery for Bay Area youth and their families. Unparalleled in quality and number, the local science and technology museums serve as important cornerstones of the area’s broader science and technology educational ecosystem. Collectively, these institutions serve more than 3.2 million visitors annually and have platforms for broader impact through their work with local science teachers, community programming and availability of web-based content.
Our funding includes support for the design and development of interactive exhibits, including the Exploratorium’s Tinkering Studio and their Living Ocean and Bay Observatory. We have supported innovations that could improve and extend visitor experience, like the Tech Museum “SMART” technology-enabled platform for data collection and analytics and the California Academy of Science’s Habitat Earth, a digital planetarium production about ecological systems of Northern California.
The foundation has supported science technology engineering and math (STEM)-focused youth programming, such as Chabot Space and Science Center’s Techbridge program that has become a national model for inspiring girls to persist in STEM fields. We look for opportunities to amplify reach, as with a partnership between University of California, Berkeley’s Lawrence Hall of Science and the Exploratorium that provides professional development to local science teachers. We have also invested in capacity building efforts that help ensure the vibrancy and relevancy of these institutions so that they continue to help inspire interest and cultivate understanding and broader appreciation of science and technology.