The University of Texas (UT) will operate the R/V Longhorn during 2000 as a general oceanographic research vessel in support of NSF-supported research projects. The Longhorn is a 103 ft. vessel, constructed in 1971 and rebuilt/stretched in 1986, and is owned and operated by UT. The vessel is scheduled for a total of 78 operational days during 2000, of which 19 days are in support of NSF-supported investigators. The remaining cruises will support University, State, Navy, and private projects. The projects scheduled on the Longhorn include several oceanographic disciplines and will fully utilize the capabilities of the vessel. Operations will take place regionally in the Gulf of Mexico.
The Longhorn is part of a fleet of ships used by the National Science Foundation in support of marine science research. Most oceanographic projects require highly specialized equipment to be permanently installed on the vessel, thus the necessity for specialized ships. These vessels do not operate in the same mode as general cargo/fishing vessels. As a result, NSF supports the operation of a variety of ships specifically dedicated to oceanographic research that are operated by universities and institutions around the country. ***