University of Hawai'i
(808) 956-8856 Telephone
For Immediate Release:
January 27, 1998
|Contact: Patricia Cooper, (808) 956- 4566
Cheryl Ernst, (808) 956-5941
UH Wins Contract to Operate Navy's Next Research Vessel
The University of Hawai'i has been notified that it has been selected to operate the Navy's next oceanographic research vessel, which will be the first in the U.S. academic fleet to feature twin-hull SWATH technology.
The new ship, AGOR 26, will replace the aging Moana Wave (AGOR 22), which the University of Hawai'i has operated for 25 years under a similar contract for the Office of Naval Research. Delivery is expected in 2001. The $4 million per year for operational cost will be covered by user fees.
"The expertise and experience of UH's School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, coupled with the importance of the Pacific in many long-term oceanographic studies, makes Hawai'i an ideal homeport for the AGOR 26," says UH President Kenneth P. Mortimer, who received the good news in a call from Sen. Daniel K. Inouye last week. A strong and longtime supporter of oceanographic research, Inouye was instrumental in winning congressional approval of $45 million in construction funding for the new ship, Mortimer noted.
The University of Hawai'i was selected to operate the ship in a competitive process. Its proposal outlines particular strengths that qualify UH for the task, including:
· More than 30 years of experience in operating blue-water oceanographic research. R/V Moana Wave, one of the oldest ships in the nation's research fleet, has a reputation for being well maintained and efficiently and economically operated. Hawai'i offers infrastructure-the most heavily-used research port in the United States-and cost savings afforded by reduced travel time to areas of research interest in the Western and Southern Pacific Ocean.
· Recognized expertise in applying the talents of 180 research and teaching faculty members, 300 staff members and 170 graduate students to interdisciplinary investigations of regional and global oceanographic questions, including significant research initiatives in observational oceanography, atmospheric chemistry, climate studies, marine geodesy, seafloor imagery and related software development.
· Success in winning competitive research funding. UH ranks third in the nation (behind only Woods Hole and Scripps Oceanographic Institutions) in competitive research funding from the National Science Foundation Ocean Sciences Division and first among the 10 members of the Joint Oceanographic Institutions for funding from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration. The School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology also wins international support, including Japanese funding for the International Pacific Research Center, established last year as a collaborative effort to explore global climate issues.