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In Memoriam – Robert ‘Rob’ Fulton

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Alumnus Robert “Rob” Fulton, who spent the last 32 years working at the California State University Desert Studies Center in the Mojave Desert, has died. He was 63.

Fulton, who earned his master’s degree in biology in 1984 at CSUF, called it his “dream job” to work as the site manager at the scientific outpost, where thousands visit each year, including students and faculty who work on research projects and convene for meetings and classes. “I can’t imagine doing anything else,” he said in 2003.

He first visited the Desert Studies Center in 1979 as a graduate student to help renovate the field station in Zzyzx, situated in the Mojave National Preserve. He landed the job as the center’s first year-round manager in 1986.  

“Rob was the soul of the Desert Studies Center. He will be missed,” said CSUF’s Darren R. Sandquist, professor of biological science and director of the California State University’s California Desert Studies Consortium.

A consortium of seven Southern California CSU campuses operates the Desert Studies Center, with CSUF serving as the host campus to provide administrative oversight of the field station.

Fulton, a recipient of CSUF’s 2004 Outstanding Staff Award, oversaw all aspects of facility operations, such as the lodging and equipment needs of visitors, leading tours, teaching classes, record keeping and managing relationships with contractors and agencies. For the desert-loving biologist, the Desert Studies Center was his home.

“The environment is beautiful to me. I can enjoy watching the seasons change. There’s no limit of opportunities to explore,” Fulton said in the fall 2003 issue of Titan Magazine.

Cards and messages to Fulton’s family may be sent in care of the CSU Desert Studies Consortium, College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Cal State Fullerton, 800 N. State College Blvd., Fullerton, CA 92831. 

Continue reading about Fulton on the Desert Studies Center website.