About Our Logo

The Muir Institute logo was designed over a period of several months with input from a committee of individuals representing numerous colleges, departments and professional schools across the UC Davis campus. The logo aims to express the Muir Institute’s core values, with each portion of the logo representing something important to us – from our inspiration to our mission and founding principles.

In the background of our logo is Half Dome, one of the most iconic vertical rock formations in Yosemite National Park. To us, Half Dome is symbolic of John Muir’s extensive preservation and activism efforts, and of the challenges associated with his pioneering efforts to conserve one of California’s most treasured natural parks.  Half Dome’s generally triangular shape also represents one of the most stable figures in geometry, further emphasizing the concept of sustainability.

At the Muir Institute, our cross-cutting efforts are fueled by a simple principle: healthy ecosystems build healthy people, which then result in healthy ecosystems. Because people and the environment go hand-in-hand, we prominently display two individuals at the center of our logo: a female child on the left and a male adult on the right. The child is specifically positioned in front of the adult, pointing to Half Dome, symbolizing our belief that humanity must be guided by the next generation if we are to achieve a more sustainable and prosperous planet and future.

The orange and yellow hues in the background illustrate a sunset over Half Dome, marking the passage of time and symbolizing the beauty and mystery of life itself. As the sun sets, light fades; however, the mountain side, ground and individuals remain bathed in light. To us, this symbolizes the need for optimism, illumination and knowledge as we continue to work together to solve the challenges facing people and the planet in the 21st century – the mission of UC Davis and the Muir Institute.