SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A Sacramento-based environmental scientist and her husband are presumed dead after the deadly Conception boat fire in Southern California.

Dr. Adrian Dahood-Fritz and her husband Andrew Frtiz are presumed dead in the boat fire.

Dahood-Fritz worked for the Ocean Protection Council under the California Natural Resource Agency as a senior environmental scientist. She worked to manage California’s network of marine protected areas.

A spokesperson for the California Natural Resources Agency said Dahood-Fritz was “She was a highly accomplished scientist who cared deeply about marine conservation and biodiversity. We feel extremely fortunate to have had her as part of our team.”

Governor Newsom issued a statement Thursday about the boat fire.

“We are saddened to learn that Adrian Dahood-Fritz, who worked for the Ocean Protection Council under the California Natural Resources Agency since April as a senior environmental scientist, and her husband Andrew Fritz, were aboard the boat and are presumed dead. Adrian led the state’s efforts to manage California’s network of marine protected areas, and she cared deeply about the ocean and biodiversity. She embodied marine conservation and was a highly accomplished and respected scientific researcher. Adrian’s passion and energy will be greatly missed.”

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Adrian Dahood-Fritz graduating with her PhD in 2017. (photo credit: Andrew Fritz)

In a eulogy posted to George Mason University’s website, Dahood-Fritz’s alma-mater, her PhD professor Dr. Kim de Mutsert remembered Adrian.

“Adrian was a passionate scientist, caring lab member, and friend. She attained her PhD in the Department of Environmental Science and Policy in Fall 2017 with her research on marine protected area placement in Antarctica, for which she received the department’s greatest impact award.  She cared deeply about the conservation and sustainability of the Antarctic region and continued her instrumental work in this region after she graduated, first as a post-doctoral researcher, and most recently as senior scientist/policy advisor at the Ocean Protection Council,” Dr. de Mutsert wrote.

The Marine Ecosystem Assessment for the Southern Ocean (MEASO) also offered their condolences for Dahood-Fritz, writing on Facebook that “Her enthusiasm and talent for developing models to explore change in Antarctic marine ecosystems has helped immeasurably in understanding the future of the Southern Ocean and its inhabitants.”

The couple is among 34 victims of the deadly fire. Officials are still searching for a cause of the blaze.


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