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Water Quality of San Francisco Bay
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Byron Richards
Master Polaris June 1980 - June 2009
Byron grew up in Oakland and graduated from the California Maritime Academy in 1970 with a degree in Nautical Science, an Unlimited Third Mate's License, and a commission in the U.S. Navy Reserve as an Ensign. After serving his Naval Reserve time, being a Firefighter/EMT in Alameda and sailing on an oil tanker, a container ship, and an oil platform supply vessel, Byron started at the USGS in July 1980 as the Master of the Polaris. During his USGS career he has served as Master (Captain) of the R/V S.P. Lee (PMG), the R/V Don J. Miller (BAG), the R/V Karluk (CMG), and the R/V J.W. Powell (CMG). His has an Unlimited, Uninspected, Ocean Master's License from the Coast Guard. He also has an Inspected Master's License for up to 3000 Gross Tons, ITC, and an Unlimited Seconds Mate License. In his 29 years Captaining the Polaris, he was also responsible for "other duties as assigned and required", which means he did just about everything, including driving small boats throughout the Bay mudflats and Delta and holding the pole while we hit pinatas.

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