Research vessels are one of the most critical tools oceanographic researchers have to better understand ocean ecosystems. The oceans cover 70 percent of our planet and are largely unexplored due to their size and unpredictability.
Research vessels are highly advanced mobile research stations, providing stable platforms from which researchers can deploy equipment, divers, and underwater vehicles (unmanned and manned) such as remotely operated vehicles (ROV's) or the human occupied submersible ALVIN. In addition, these vessels carry state-of- the-art electronics, computers, and navigational and communications systems.
ECOGIG conducts several research cruises each year on a number of research vessels including:
R/V (Research Vessel) Atlantis
The R/V Atlantis is used by ECOGIG to explore the Gulf of Mexico. R/V Atlantis is used for oceanographic research as well as transport of the human occupied submersible ALVIN. It is operated by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution as part of the University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System (UNOLS) fleet. Photo courtesy of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute.
R/V (Research Vessel) Endeavor
The R/V Endeavor is used by ECOGIG for at least one research cruise each year in the Gulf of Mexico. It is owned by the National Science Foundation and operated by the University of Rhode Island (URI). Photo courtesy of the University of Rhode Island.
R/V (Research Vessel) Falkor
The R/V Falkor is used by ECOGIG for research cruises in the Gulf of Mexico. It is owned and operated by the Schmidt Ocean Institute, a non-profit private foundation focused on oceanography. The Institute’s goal is to advance ocean exploration, discovery, and knowledge using technological advances, data-rich observation and analysis, and open sharing of information. Photo courtesy of Schmidty Ocean Institute.
E/V (Exploration Vessel) Nautilus
The E/V Nautilus is an ocean exploration vehicle equipped with state of the art technologies. Remotely operated vehicles (Hercules and Argus), high-resolution seafloor mapping, and real-time satellite transmission of data provide scientists with an arsenal of tools for their research. It is owned and operated by Ocean Exploration Trust and Dr. Robert Ballard. Photo courtesy of Ocean Exploration Trust.
R/V (Research Vessel) Pelican
The R/V Pelican is used by ECOGIG for several research cruises each year in the Gulf of Mexico. The R/V Pelican is outfitted to conduct a variety of oceanographic research missions. It is owned and operated by Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium (LUMCON) in Cocodrie, LA. (c) ECOGIG.
R/V (Research Vessel) Point Sur
The R/V Point Sur is used by ECOGIG for several research cruises in the Gulf of Mexico each year. It is owned by the University of Southern Mississippi and operated by Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium (LUMCON). The ship is equipped with two research labs, heavy operational equipment, and scientific equipment for all operations. (c) ECOGIG.