55 Music Concourse Dr.
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco CA
Regular Hours:


9:30 am – 5:00 pm


11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Members' Hours:


8:30 – 9:30 am


10:00 – 11:00 am

The Academy will be closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.

Planetarium will be closed Sep. 22, 23, 24

Joe Bosten

Joe is a Stationary Engineer for the Steinhart Aquarium.


Briefly describe your job and your area of expertise. I work as the night engineer for life support. Maintaining the physical plant.

What got you interested in becoming an Engineer?
The union offered a very attractive apprenticeship for military

What do you like most and least about your job?  I enjoy being a part of science.   Least:  Everything is dark at night

What influenced your job choice and when?  When I found out I could get paid to do what I like!

Do you have pets at home? What and how many? None

Advice for someone wanting to go into your field. The four-year apprenticeship is important.

More about Joe


Joe’s Suggested Reading:

Everything has a manual. They are boring but very important.

More about Engineers


What is a Stationary Engineer?

The Steinhart Aquarium Engineers are part of Local 39 which is an International Union of Operating Engineers.  The normal duties of a Stationary Engineer are to operate and maintain boilers, HVAC, hot water generators, fire and life safety systems, refrigeration machinery and its associated auxiliary equipment.  In addition to these responsibilities, our engineers also maintain life support systems for the aquarium.  Since the shift towards buildings like ours relying on digital controls, the engineers work with a Building Management System.  Engineers of today need to be more computer literate to work with these complex and integrated systems.