The Roger Revelle serves as a key support platform in the academic research fleet for a wide variety of scientific programs. The ship will spend 2005 in the Pacific, supporting ten very different scientific programs from the Antarctic south of New Zealand to the North Pacific east of Japan. The ship's schedule is 280 days for the year, with 232 in direct support of NSF funded research programs. The ship will operate under a five-year cooperative agreement. Funding for the years 2006-2009 will depend upon the number of days at sea in support of NSF-funded research programs.

Broader Impacts: The primary impact of ship operations is on the education of many students, principally but not exclusively graduate students in the ocean sciences. The great majority of scientific parties on Scripps (and other UNOLS) ships contain students in their ranks. They form integral parts of the research teams. By going to sea they obtain firsthand experience of the conduct of seagoing research, they learn the difficulties that surround the gathering of meaningful observations from the real ocean, and they gain valuable preparation for leading their own research projects at sea in their future careers.

A second important impact is on public appreciation of ocean science. Research ships are novel, attractive venues for tours by school groups and other interested citizens. To the maximum extent feasible within the context of necessary work and constraints of new port and vessel security requirements, Scripps tries to accommodate all such outreach instances in port, in San Diego and elsewhere, for we know that this gives positive representation to science in general and to seagoing ocean science in particular.

R/V Roger Revelle embarked Debra Brice, a NOAA-sponsored Teacher at Sea, in 2003; she made extensive use of satellite communications (HiSeasNet) on the vessel to interact with her middle-school science students ashore. She has recently been named one of four San Diego County Teachers of the Year (there are 25,000 county teachers) and will rejoin the ship in January (Sloyan/Swift cruise) for an expanded instructional program from sea (site in construction at, supported in part by the NSF Research Experiences for Teachers program. She will make significant use of new SIO-funded satellite videoconferencing equipment on the ship to interact with her students ashore.

Scripps also frequently receive inquiries from the public about volunteering to work at sea on a research vessel, often as a result of having browsed their marine or general institutional ( websites.They maintain information about volunteering on the site, pointing such inquirers toward scheduled chief scientists who may have need of volunteer assistance. There are university procedures in place to enroll volunteers on behalf of projects headed by UC-affiliated investigators, thereby providing appropriate insurance coverage, etc. In cases when volunteers and projects do connect successfully, strong educational experiences arise that can awaken a continuing interest in the oceans and ocean science.

Intellectual and Technical Merit: A vital key to the success of research expeditions is that the ship, her crew and her technical support staff must be - and are - capable and ready to change between radically dissimilar scientific programs during the brief in-port periods scheduled. Extensive loading, offloading, laboratory reconfiguration and setup, and installations of heavy, project-specific deck equipment and container vans are port call commonplaces, in 2005 as in other years.

The intellectual merit of the proposed work is indirect. It derives from the intellectual merit of the individual research projects that depend upon the shipboard work at sea. For example, in June-July two "mooring turnaround" cruises (Watts) will take place as part of the Kuroshio Extension System Study (KESS; The goal of KESS is to identify and quantify the dynamic and thermodynamic processes governing the variability of and the interaction between the eastward extension of the Kuroshio (Pacific analogue of the Gulf Stream) and the adjacent gyre in which a portion of the flow recirculates. This region exhibits intense variability of the surface currents and temperatures, and thus of the exchanges of heat and moisture with the overlying atmosphere. Ocean dynamics here therefore have major implications for downstream climate and weather in North America. Revelle will renew the KESS instrumented moorings midway through this project plan. Her key capabilities are her extreme maneuverability, crew skills and the deck machinery needed for successful handling of deep-ocean moorings comprising heavy marine hardware and delicate sensors for current, temperature and other ocean parameters.

Project Report

Intellectual merit. At Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) and throughout the U.S. oceanographic research community, the observation, measurement, and collection of samples and data are accomplished at sea on a global scale by operations aboard seagoing research vessels. National Science Foundation (NSF) support for the operations of oceanographic research vessels enables NSF-supported scientists to project their ability to observe, measure and sample the planet worldwide, facilitating scientific endeavor across a broad range of disciplines including biology, chemistry, geology, geophysics, physics, atmospheric sciences, and many others. SIO-operated ships have played a critical role in the exploration of our planet since 1907, and continue to contribute significantly to the U.S. ocean research effort. Shipboard research, such as that provided by SIO-operated vessels supported by NSF, offers the transformative potential to understand societally-relevant issues, such as global change and the health of ocean ecosystems, on which human well-being may ultimately depend. This award supported the operation of the Research Vessel (R/V) Roger Revelle during the period 01 MAR 2005 through 28 FEB 2013. During this period R/V Roger Revelle carried to sea 106 separate and distinctive scientific programs, 40 of which were NSF-sponsored projects. Each scientific program assigned aboard R/V Roger Revelle was individually selected through peer review processes, and was directed by its own Principal Investigator with unique objectives, outcomes and intellectual merit. The scheduling of scientific programs aboard the vessel was conducted collaboratively within the University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System (UNOLS), which has established a system for prudent shared use of the U.S. Academic Research Fleet by NSF as well as other federal, state, and local agencies. During this award period, R/V Roger Revelle conducted 2,396 operational research days. Of those, 1,279 (53%) supported NSF-sponsored projects, with the remainder supported by the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (363 days, 15%), the United States Navy (563 days, 24%), and Scripps Institution of Oceanography programs (191 days, 8%). Broader impacts. The spectrum of research projects enabled by these improvements to NSF-supported research vessels collectively achieves far-reaching broader impacts through the enhancement of infrastructure that is critical to the promotion of training and learning, increasing the participation of underrepresented groups in research, advancing scientific and technological understanding and informing policy making for the benefit of society. For example, research and research training are fundamental elements of the SIO mission that benefit significantly from the proposed improvements. Since 1903, Scripps has awarded more than 1,500 PhD and MS degrees to women and men from more than 47 countries. Our alumni include a college president, five college deans, 21 academic directors, 234 tenure-track professors at 93 universities in 19 countries, and 142 research scientists at 32 universities in 12 countries. In the five-year period ending in 2010, 630 graduate students and 253 undergraduate students obtained first-hand experience at sea aboard SIO research vessels. Practical experience aboard research vessels is a cornerstone of SIO’s exemplary research training program, and this experience has contributed to the Institution’s success in producing outstanding new research scientists. As shared-use resources for the U.S. oceanographic research community, SIO-operated vessels host scientists from throughout the country, and contribute similarly to the education and training missions of other institutions. As a charter member of UNOLS, SIO is actively involved in coordinating research vessel operations with scientists and funding agencies so that our capabilities can best meet the current and anticipated needs of the entire community. Through UNOLS, SIO ship operations and technical support personnel collaborate with ship operations departments at other institutions to broadly communicate best practices, lessons learned, and operational practices that benefit the entire U.S. research community. During the period of this award, R/V Roger Revelle served NSF and the U.S. scientific community by safely, capably and efficiently carrying out its mission to advance our understanding of the oceans, climate, and Earth.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Ocean Sciences (OCE)
Cooperative Agreement (Coop)
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Rose Dufour
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University of California-San Diego Scripps Inst of Oceanography
La Jolla
United States
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