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Research Vessel Roger Revelle Returns After 6-Year Journey

The research vessel Roger Revelle is set to return to San Diego around noon today following a six-year voyage around the globe that included work stretching from deep ocean trenches to the upper atmosphere.

The research aboard the 273-foot Scripps flagship, owned by the U.S. Navy's Office of Naval Research and operated by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, spanned 338,000 nautical miles in the Pacific, Indian, Southern and Atlantic oceans, according to the institution.

"R/V Roger Revelle is the premier vessel in the Scripps Institution of Oceanography academic fleet. We welcome her home and applaud her captain, crew and ship operations for six years of superior support of sea-based science," said Scripps Acting Director Cathy Constable. "We look forward to the ship's return to sea and new expeditions that address vital concerns for science and society."


The 86 missions undertaken in the past six years were led by scientific parties from Scripps and other oceanographic institutions and dealt with such issues as global climate, ocean acidification, plate tectonics, volcanic processes, resource exploration, ecosystem dynamics, marine mammals, ocean waves and currents, and ocean acoustics.

The ship was named for the late Roger Revelle, a one-time director of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, to honor his scientific contributions, including work as a pioneer in climate change.

"This homecoming follows six years of exploration and is a prime example of the amazing work and research of our campus members over the last five decades," UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla said.

During its deployment, the ship traveled to the eastern U.S. seaboard, Samoa, New Zealand, Australia, Indonesia, Mauritius, Seychelles, South Africa, Uruguay, Chile, Taiwan, Guam, Tonga, Fiji, Japan, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam and French Polynesia.

Dr. Frank Herr, head of the Ocean Battlespace Sensing Department at the Office of Naval Research, said the science arising from the voyage represents new knowledge about the oceans and the atmosphere and will open many additional avenues of research.


The ship will undergo routine maintenance before leaving San Diego for a new round of projects next year and will be outfitted with a robotic arm for deploying ocean water sampling equipment.