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Couple donate $1.4 million to UCSB
Pair's gift will try to entice the brightest to USCB's environmental science division.
from Santa Barbara News Press, October 24, 1999


A UCSB graduate program that trains advanced students how to solve environmental problems will receive a $1.4 million donation from a local couple.

Chancellor Henry Yang announced Saturday that Santa Barbara residents Linda and Jeff Dozier are donating the money to the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management.

Jeff Dozier is the founding and current dean of the Bren School, and his wife Linda Dozier endowed the gift from her earnings as a computer software entrepreneur.

"We are very grateful to Linda and Jeff for this generous and well-conceived gift," Yang said in a statement from UCSB. "Aimed at providing an incentive for the most able students to choose the Santa Barbara campus, the Dozier Fellowship Fund targets academic quality."

Yang made the announcement at a meeting of the Foundation of the University of California at Santa Barbara. Administered through a trust over a 20-year period, the donation will provide direct support to graduate students, Jeff Dozier said Saturday from the couple's Santa Barbara home.

He acknowledged that the pair is leery of public attention that the gift might attract, and said the decision to donate the sum took time: "Any gift of this magnitude is something you have to think over a while."

In 1993, Linda Dozier and a business partner established a computer software company called NaviSoft Inc. in the basement of a Goleta home.

In the UCSB press release, Linda Dozier described the company: "We created a network publishing tool that was essentially a browser that let you edit a Web page, and then save the page over the network back to the Web server."

She eventually sold the company to the nation's largest Internet service provider, America Online. The technology still forms portions of the Internet architecture at AOL, according to UCSB. The rising market value of AOL stock that Linda Dozier acquired in 1994 in exchange for NaviSoft enabled her and her husband to create the Dozier Fellowship Fund.

After the NaviSoft deal, Linda Dozier, 38, worked as vice president for corporate development of AOL from 1995 to 1998, when she left to have a third child.

She is now preparing to start another business, according to UCSB.

Jeff Dozier, 55, joined the UCSB faculty in 1974 with a doctorate in geography from the University of Michigan.

After his arrival, Dozier began to research snow, hydrology and the hydrochemistry of alpine regions.

A desire for better data about snow coverage led Jeff Dozier to remote sensing -- the gathering of information about the planet Earth from outer space.

From 1990 to 1992, Dozier served as senior project scientist for the Earth Observing System, a series of NASA satellites.

After returning to UCSB, Jeff Dozier became the first dean of the Bren School in 1994. The school opened to master's degree candidates in 1996 and doctoral candidates in 1998.

At the end of a five-year term as dean, Jeff Dozier will oversee the school for an additional year while UCSB searches for a replacement. Afterward, he said his teaching duties and remote sensing research will continue at the campus.