Oregon State University (OSU) has received a $144 million grant from the National Science Foundation to construct its newest research vessel. The ship, a 193-foot regional class research vessel, will be designed with a team of researchers from OSU, constructed in Louisiana, and harbored at the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport, OR. ARCS Foundation Oregon Chapter supports scholars in six colleges at Oregon State University, including the College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, and the College of Agricultural Sciences, which oversees the Marine Mammal Institute on the coast in Newport. The first of two vessels to be funded by NSF, the ship will be operated by OSU for research missions focusing on the West Coast and will present great research opportunities for future ARCS Scholars working on oceanic and marine issues
“The OSU team is knocking this project out of the park,” said Cynthia Sagers, Vice President of Research at OSU and ARCS Oregon member. “Existing vessels were ships first, then outfitted for research later. Our team is flipping the script by bringing in researchers early in the design phase. The result will be a ship ideally suited for the demands of highly technical research under extremely challenging conditions.”
This grant is the single largest awarded to OSU in its 150-year history as a university, and will continue to benefit researchers for years to come. The ships will be equipped to conduct detailed seafloor mapping, to reveal geologic structures important to understanding processes such as subduction zone earthquakes that may trigger tsunamis. The ships will also be equipped with advanced sensors to detect changing ocean chemistry and interactions between the sea and atmosphere.