Oregon State University is leading the effort to build the nation's next class of research vessels to advance ocean science.
The university received nearly $122 million from the National Science Foundation to lead construction of the first of three ships for the U.S. Academic Research Fleet. The grant is the largest in the university's history.
The vessels will advance research in the coastal regions of the United States and Alaska. The first ship will support research missions along the U.S. West Coast with later vessels dedicated to other regions.
OSU officials say the new vessels will help scientists better understand rising sea levels, ocean acidification, declining fisheries, offshore energy and other issues.
The ships will be equipped with advanced equipment, including sensors to detect harmful algal blooms and changing ocean chemistry.
The university is expected to begin operating the vessel in 2021.
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