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Romberg Tiburon Center receives $500,000 grant to increase lab space


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November 1, 2002

San Francisco State University's Romberg Tiburon Center for Environmental Studies (RTC) has received a $500,000 grant from the W.M. Keck Foundation of Los Angeles to create a state-of-the-art instructional laboratory for students and scientists.

This is the first time SFSU has received an award from the foundation, which funds programs in the sciences, engineering and medical research at colleges and universities.

“It will be unlike any other classroom we have,” said Alissa Arp, the center’s director. “We have lecture halls, but we want to build a modern teaching laboratory.”

Extensive renovations in the Center’s main building will transform 1,440 square feet of space into an advanced instructional lab. The lab will include 18 modular workstations that will enable up to 20 students to use the facility at one time. Work is scheduled for completion in fall 2003, and classes will continue in the building during construction.

“The entire class will be able to conduct experiments simultaneously and do group exercises, where beforehand we had to split them up,” Arp said. The extra space is important in science labs, where students often work in pairs or small groups.

Development of the new lab is part of a multi-year, $8.2 million construction project to increase classroom space and perform seismic upgrades at the RTC. The National Science Foundation and other organizations have also funded the project.

The RTC is home to 14 scientists, and more than 100 students enroll in classes each year in topics ranging from introduction to oceanography to the biology of algae. The Center serves as the University’s marine field station and is the only research facility on the San Francisco Bay.

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Last modified November 1, 2002, by the Office of Public Affairs