NEXT MEETING: October 30, 2015

California’s Ocean Wilderness: What’s Up Down There?

Dirk Rosen is the founder and Executive Director of Marine Applied Research and Exploration (MARE), a not-for-profit organization.  MARE supports a healthy ocean by collecting information on deep-sea ecosystems using remote controlled robotic technology.  Dirk founded MARE in 2003 to protect and restore the ocean’s invaluable, yet threatened resources by enabling science-based marine conservation efforts in support of sustainable fisheries for future generations.  He has 25+ years of deepwater vehicle design and operations experience with remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) and manned submersibles.  He has led or co-led 27 ROV ocean surveys assessing Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), exploring our National Marine Sanctuaries, performing fish stock assessments and environmental impacts of wave power and seismic survey sites, evaluating the impacts of fishing gear and recovering lost science equipment.  Currently Dirk and MARE are in the middle of completing California’s final deepwater network of MPAs, those from the Oregon border to Fort Bragg.

Prior to starting MARE, Dirk was president of Deep Ocean Engineering, test pilot for all three Deep Rover 1,000 meter-rated manned submersibles, and a designer/operator of the Phantom and Bandit Remotely Operated Vehicle systems, (of which more than 500 were built).  Later at Hawkes Ocean Technologies he was the project manager for the 11,000 meter rated Challenger, a manned submersible designed to go to the deepest point in the ocean, the Marianas Trench.  Dirk is a registered Professional Engineer, but don’t hold that against him!

MEETING OF October 23, 2015


President-Elect, Josh Surowitz, standing in for current President Alan Blavins, skillfully called the meeting to order at the Richmond Country Club. Connie Tritt led the pledge of allegiance to the flag. George Egan asked for a moment of silence for freedom, peace, and justice on earth. Sid Chauvin (good to have Sid back again!) provided this thought for the day from Mike Ditka of NFL fame: “You will never be a loser until you quit trying.”

Visiting Rotarians and Guests

  • Pate Thomson was a visiting Rotarian from the Berkeley Club.
  • Jon Lawlis introduced his guest and fiancé, Darlene Quenville.


  • We’ll hear more about this at the next meeting but President Alan Blavins encourages Club members (and friends and family) to consider volunteering to help out at the Fifth Annual Day of Giving Thanks dinner event hosted at Salute Restaurant. In this well-organized and worthwhile activity, there are morning and afternoon shifts (9am to 12:30pm and 12pm to 3:30pm) as well as a variety of volunteer positions/roles (from Greeters to Dining Room Assistants to Transportation Assistants and more). Learn how you can help.
  • The Rotary World Peace Concert 2015 will take place at the Herbst Theater in San Francisco on Saturday, November 14. Click here for more info and to purchase tickets.
  • Pate Thomson from Berkeley Rotary provided an update on the Richmond Rotacare medical clinic, which has been serving uninsured patients for about two and a half years. Plans are now in place to move the clinic about four blocks from its current location at the Brighter Beginnings offices, 2727 Macdonald Avenue, to the new Family Justice Center, 254 24th Avenue, in Richmond. After completing some minor space reconfigurations, the clinic will relocate in December and be fully operational in January. Pate said funding for all this will come from a Rotary District grant supported by donations from the eight BARSHEEP Rotary Clubs. Richmond Rotary’s hoped-for contribution is $1,400.
  • Pam Jones encouraged everyone to get on board with donations for the bike-purchase project for the annual holiday gift-giving event at the YMCA. Each bike costs $47 ($45 for the bike plus $2 for the helmet) and the Club will match giving up to $5,000. About 1200 kids are expected at the event. Last year, over 350 bikes were given away. New Club member, Mey Saechou, reported that she was a happy new bike recipient 21 years ago when she was attending Verde Elementary School. Now there’s a great testimony!


Happy and Sad Dollars

Norm’s Nonsense


Liliane Koziol introduced the program speaker, Ruben Lizardo, Director of Local Government and Community Relations for the Office of the UC Berkeley Chancellor.

Ruben provided an update on the “Berkeley Global Campus at Richmond Bay” (BGCRB).

The BGCRB project is centered on the 170 acres of Richmond property known as the Richmond Field Station, owned by UC Berkeley for over 50 years. A variety of engineering research work currently takes place on the property.

UC Berkeley Chancellor Nicholas Dirks presented his vision for the BGCRB to the University’s Academic Senate in October 2014. When it was originally to be launched with funding from the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBNL), the project was known as the Richmond Bay Campus.

Under the Chancellor’s leadership, the BGCRB will serve as a new research and action hub in Richmond with a focus on global issues, culture, and collaboration. The LBNL remains a steadfast partner in the BGCRB but this is clearly now a UC Berkeley-led project.

While other internationally focused projects launched by universities have been located abroad, the Chancellor’s plan is to create a global campus in Richmond. The idea is to have the BGCRB be the focal point for an international coalition of academic institutions, the private sector, and community partners who will collaborate on research projects to address global challenges like energy, the environment, health, and the economy.

A lot of this is still very much in the concept stage but the intention is for this to be a new model for global engagement and research integration that will have deep ties to the main UC Berkeley campus and to the local community through a variety of educational, public health, community outreach, labor, and transportation partnerships.

Chancellor Dirks has been clear in his commitment to the Richmond community and how he believes the project can be a real catalyst for Richmond’s south shoreline. Through the South Shoreline Specific Plan, the City of Richmond is leading the way to improve infrastructure and enhance transportation, residential, and commercial development to ensure the Berkeley Global Campus is part of a sustainable and vibrant community that includes jobs, business opportunities, and an array of recreation and social outlets.

Much is yet to be done (defining specific actions, funding, schedules, etc.). Still, things are happening. There’s a BGC Community Working Group, in which our own Josh Genser is serving. An initial set of Working Group recommendations that might become the “Richmond Compact” will be going to the Chancellor in December for consideration. In the bigger picture, UC Berkeley has a couple of Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) pending with Cambridge University in the UK and National University in Singapore as potential BGCRB partners.

If you’d like to receive periodic email updates and news about BGCRB, click on this link to sign up.

Tom Waller, Rotating Scribe