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Robert Fulton: Holding One of the Most Unusual Position at CSUF
by Dave Reid


From Dateline (May 8, 2003)

Rob Fulton
Former graduate student Rob Fulton
has lived at the Desert Studies
Center in the eastern Mojave Desert
for 17 years as the center's
resident manager. Thousands have
visited the center to study geology,
paleontology, climatology, astronomy,
desert flora and fauna, and the
natural history of the area.
Rob Fulton
Resident Manager
Desert Studies Center
Length of Service:
17 Years
Other Stuff:

California native Rob Fulton was a biology graduate student on campus when he heard about the newly acquired Zzyzx facility that became the Desert Studies Center. For years, Fulton said he was “geographically challenged” for a social life and remained single. That changed about six years ago when he was introduced to Sandra, an X-ray technician he later married. They live year-round at the center in an air-conditioned residence.

As resident manager of the Desert Studies Center – where the winter temperatures can dip to 8 degrees and summer temperatures soar to 120 degrees – Rob Fulton must have one of the most unusual staff jobs in the CSU system.
He is responsible for managing the development and operations of the facilities, which can support up to 80 students and faculty members. This includes operating all on-site utilities, maintaining library and museum holdings, organizing lodging and equipment needs of visitors, leading tours, teaching classes and working on research projects.

Situated in the Mojave National Preserve at Soda Springs, the center is a scientific field station operated by a consortium of CSU campuses. Originally a resort operated by evangelist Curtis Springer, it serves more than 1,500 students, researchers and visiting scientists, each year, according to William Presch, professor of biological science and center director.

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Q&A with Fulton

• Rob Fulton

• How did you first learn about the Desert Studies Center?

• When was this?

• Did you come back?

• So it was like a second education?

So you've been here 17 years as manager?

• So the desert suits you?

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