SF State News {University Communications}

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News Release

Romberg Tiburon Center adds to its research fleet

Shallow draft cabin cruiser will enhance scientific investigations at San Francisco State University's bayside environmental studies center in Marin

SAN FRANCISCO, April 16, 2008 -- The addition of a 22-foot shallow draft cabin cruiser dubbed the Salty Dog has been added to the Romberg Tiburon Center for Environmental Studies' (RTC) research fleet. The late Dr. William Atchley of Tiburon, a member of RTC's board of directors, previously owned the C-Dory, built in 2000. The renowned medical ethicist passed away last August.

The Salty Dog is berthed at Paradise Cay Marina in Tiburon near RTC's Questuary, a 38-foot modified cabin cruiser. RTC's fleet also includes four smaller outboard vessels.

"The Salty Dog rounds out our existing fleet perfectly," said RTC Director and oceanographer Toby Garfield. "It is a flat bottomed, shallow draft, outboard-driven boat like our Boston Whalers but its cabin will provide a platform and shelter for electronic equipment that until now we have only been able to accommodate on the Questuary." Unlike the Questuary, which requires a fully licensed captain, researchers can operate the Salty Dog.

At an April 4 reception, Katharyn Boyer, assistant professor of biology, said that the Salty Dog had already been of benefit to the scientists at RTC. She recalled that Atchley often skippered his boat with her and her graduate students aboard during field research in shallow areas along San Francisco Bay's shoreline. "We are working to restore eelgrass beds," Boyer said. "Dr. Atchley loved being part of science that was so important to the health of San Francisco Bay."

Atchley's widow, Annelies, said that it was difficult to give away something that was so important to her husband. "This boat was Bill's tree house and I felt it embodied his spirit," she said. "But when I saw Bill's fellow board members and all of the students, staff, faculty and researchers whose work would be enhanced by the Salty Dog, giving away the boat became a happy occasion."

The Romberg Tiburon Center for Environmental Studies, San Francisco State University's marine and estuarine research facility, is the only facility of its kind located on San Francisco Bay. The 32-acre complex located in Tiburon, Calif. is home to research and instruction spanning the disciplines of biology, chemistry and biochemistry, geography, geosciences and human environmental studies. The Center's instructional programs serve K through 12 science teachers as well as SF State undergraduate and graduate students. Named in honor of Paul F. Romberg, president of SF State from 1973 to 1988, the Center is celebrating 30 years of science, education and stewardship.


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