Decades ago, aeronautical engineer Samuel L. Blasker committed to support innovative local research projects by San Diego scientists. He understood that in order to prepare for tomorrow, we must invest in science and discovery today.
His vision lives on through the Blasker-Rose-Miah Endowment Fund at The San Diego Foundation.
Since 1999, the Blasker-Rose-Miah Endowment Fund has granted over $7.6 million to more than 150 scientists and engineers.
Through grants supporting science and technology, as well as environmental research, the Blasker Fund protects and strengthens our current and future quality of life in San Diego.
Access to STEM
San Diego is a national leader in technology innovation.
San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation recently listed the region in the top 10 for software development, bringing more than 100,000 jobs and accounting for $12.2 billion in the local economy.
Through programs funded by Blasker Science and Technology grants, The San Diego Foundation helps to create an inclusive innovation sector that affords opportunity to students across the region.
For example, the 2016 Blasker Science and Technology $75,000 grant to San Diego State University will build a pipeline for female students to pursue bioengineering degrees and careers.
In addition, a $31,348 grant for San Diego Mesa College will increase the success of underserved students, particularly from Latino communities, in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) courses to enhance their competitiveness for obtaining paid internships.
Preparing for Climate Change
According to the report, San Diego, 2050 is Calling. How Will We Answer?, released in 2014 by The San Diego Foundation and Climate Education Partners, the once-in-a-lifetime extreme storm will become the annual extreme storm by 2050. This presents a growing challenge, particularly as the impacts from climate change increase.
Fortunately, our region recognizes these long-term challenges and community leaders are taking action.
The cities of San Diego and Chula Vista are two of the first in the country to update action plans with measures to adapt to projected climate changes.
Philanthropy is moving the needle, too.
Blasker Environment grants provide integral support for preparing for our future. Last year, three sets of scientists received support to further research the risks and effects involved with a changing climate.
One such grant studied the evolution of one of San Diego’s most cherished resources – beaches. Dr. Sarah Giddings and Angelica Rodriguez examined the impact of extreme events, including storms, El Niño and drought conditions, on San Diego’s estuaries.
Thanks to their work, San Diego’s coastal communities now better understand how natural events affect water quality, beach management and safety, and long term coastal development.
Samuel Blasker established his named fund to foster scientific innovation for generations to come. The latest round of grantmaking from the Blasker Fund realizes that commitment and paves an exciting new path of opportunity for our region’s most promising scientists, engineers and researchers.
How does your organization support STEM innovation or environmental research in San Diego? Share your work with us in the comments!