Gift creates Rosenberg Institute for Marine Biology and Environmental Science

July 17, 2013

SAN FRANCISCO, July 17, 2013 -- San Francisco State University announced today the creation of a new institute at the Romberg Tiburon Center (RTC), funded by Barbara and Richard Rosenberg who donated $1 million to support the research center's efforts to communicate the science behind the world's ocean environments.

The Barbara and Richard Rosenberg Institute for Marine Biology and Environmental Science will help RTC showcase its extraordinary research potential and commitment to public engagement on the health of San Francisco Bay and broader issues such as global climate and habitat change.

"We are very grateful to the Rosenbergs for this gift," said Leslie Wong, president of SF State. "Their generous support will ensure that many generations of researchers, students and citizens have excellent opportunities to understand and protect one of our region's most exceptional assets -- the San Francisco Bay."

The endowment will support spring and fall academic lecture series for RTC graduate students and the public and fund a biannual public forum on marine biology and related topics. The new institute will also oversee RTC's annual Discovery Day, an open house where the public can visit the Center to meet its researchers, and K-12 students can participate in a variety of hands-on science activities.

The gift will allow the Center to bring in many more high-profile speakers from outside the Bay Area, bringing greater exposure to the Center and increasing the contact students have with national and international marine and environmental science experts.

Barbara and Richard Rosenberg have endowed several institutes at universities around the country, including the Rosenberg Institute of Global Finance at the Brandeis International Business School and the Barbara and Richard M. Rosenberg Institute for East Asian Studies at Suffolk University. Together, the two have served on numerous boards and supported Bay Area institutions such as the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF); the Buck Institute for Research on Aging; and the Jewish Community High School.

They have previously contributed to RTC's unique research and educational mission through Barbara Rosenberg's participation in ARCS (Achievement Rewards For College Scientists) Scholarships and in their support of three ARCS students studying at RTC.

At the invitation of one of the ARCS student recipients, the Rosenbergs visited the Center "and came away really impressed with the researchers' enthusiasm and commitment to science, particularly among the students," said Barbara Rosenberg.

The RTC site in Marin County, Calif. was a thriving Navy base during World War II, and as a retired commander in the U.S. Naval Reserve, Richard Rosenberg said that he is pleased to see the old base put to good use. "The Romberg Tiburon Center may be one of the better-kept secrets of the Bay Area," he said, "but we think it's the perfect platform to attract great students and great faculty to work on issues in marine biology and the marine environment."

The Romberg Tiburon Center is the only academic research facility located on the San Francisco Bay. Situated on the channel between the freshwater of the Sacramento and San Joaquin River Delta and the Pacific Ocean, RTC's location is an ideal setting for its team of interdisciplinary scientists and students to conduct their research, much of which focuses on understanding the natural forces at work in the San Francisco Bay and its surrounding wetland environments. RTC research scientists also study natural phenomena in the open ocean along California's coastline and in remote locations such as the Ross Sea (Antarctica), the Amazon River and the Equatorial Pacific.

On June 8, RTC expanded its research and professional training opportunities under a new formal agreement with the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC). This partnership adds San Francisco Bay to a suite of global sites for long-term comparative studies of the global impacts of climate change on coastal environments.

As part of SF State's College of Science & Engineering, RTC faculty members are involved in a wide range of research with local, regional, national and global implications involving climate change, harmful algal blooms, invasive species, coastal habitat conservation and restoration, and response to spills and marine debris in San Francisco Bay and the California coastal ocean.
Scheduling updates and additional information about the new Institute can be found at

San Francisco State University

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