SF State's Marine Research Center Receives Generous Donation
September 27, 2006 4:02 PM
Since 2003, faculty, staff and students at SF State’s Romberg Tiburon Center have been dealing with renovations.
Now, with the help of a $445,000 grant from the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund, the center, which is the only academic research establishment for wetlands and the ocean in the Bay Area, plans to complete renovations, leaving a state-of-the-art educational facility.
“I am just excited for not having portable bathrooms and kitchens,” said Karen Alroy, a research technician who is currently working on a lobster population connectivity study at the center. “And I am excited to be able to stay inside when I want to drink some tea, once the construction is finished.”
The grant completes a $7 million capital campaign fund from the Goldman Fund for building and program improvements at the center.
Even though a major portion of the RTC program is conducted at SF State’s main campus, the funding they are receiving for the center is essential.
Pamela Allen, program officer at the Goldman Fund, agrees with Garfield and said the RTC program is crucial for the improvement of the San Francisco Bay.
The center offers a number of courses ranging from “Fierce Forces and Stunning Speeds: The Extreme Lifestyle of Mantis Shrimp” to “The Cellular Response to Heat Stress in Steno- and Eurythermic Fishes: A cDNA Microarray-based Approach.”
In June of this year, the center won a prestigious Duke’s Award for its use of Java networking technology to transmit real-time environmental data via cell phone.
The RTC’s five buildings are located on 32 acres of bay-front property in Tiburon, where scientists and students are able to gather research about the ocean and surrounding wetlands, and take it back to the lab to analyze.
Even though the RTC is the only academic research facility in the Bay Area, which is one of the largest estuaries in the United States, SF State hasn’t given them any funding for their recent extensive renovation.
“Zero. The university hasn’t given us any funding for our renovation project,” Garfield said. “That isn’t to say that the university is totally giving us the high-and-dry. They’re just not giving us any funding for the renovation process we are currently undergoing.”
What the university does supply is the “baseline funding for faculty and staff out at the reserve,” according to Garfield.
In August of 2003, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration provided SF State with the hangar-like building in Tiburon to function as a reserve for the RTC program.
With the help of outside contributions from groups such as the Marin Community Foundation, W.M. Keck Foundation, and The Clear Genesis Foundation, the RTC has already been able to make improvements to the information technology classrooms, offices and labs for faculty, and the main teaching laboratory at the center, Garfield said.
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