URI to name new $125 million research ship Resolution

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Rendering of the R/V Resolution
An artist’s rendering of the R/V Resolution which will be homeported at the University of Rhode Island's Narragansett Bay Campus starting in 2021. (Glosten Associates)

KINGSTON, R.I.- February 11, 2019- After a wide-ranging search for nominations and thorough deliberations, the new Regional Class Research Vessel that will soon call the University of Rhode Island’s Narragansett Bay Campus home has a name.

Graduate School of Oceanography Dean Bruce Corliss announced that the new vessel will be called Resolution following approval from the National Science Foundation. The naming of R/V Resolution follows the precedent set by GSO’s founding dean John A. Knauss of choosing a historical name for the R/V Endeavor, the research vessel operated by GSO for the past 40 years.

“The name selected for the new research vessel is fitting as it honors both the history and future of ocean exploration,” said URI President David M. Dooley. “The R/V Resolution will continue URI’s half-century of leadership in oceanographic research, and help scientists address some of the world’s most pressing environmental questions.”

“The R/V Resolution continues the tradition within URI of a historical name following the R/V Endeavor, named after Capt. James Cook’s first vessel of exploration,” Corliss said. “As the second vessel used by Cook in his voyages, the HMS Resolution had a long and distinguished career, and so the name is appropriate for a new research vessel in the national academic fleet.”

In July, NSF selected the East Coast Oceanographic Consortium, led by the University of Rhode Island, to operate the new $125 million oceanographic research ship, one of only three such vessels in the nation. The URI-led consortium includes the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the University of New Hampshire School of Marine Science and Ocean Engineering — along with 13 associate members.

The R/V Resolution will support such scientific studies as the tracking of ocean currents and fish migration, seafloor surveys in earthquake-prone regions of the world, conservation of marine mammals and the food-web dynamics in the deep ocean. In addition, the ship will offer education and outreach opportunities for teachers, undergraduate and graduate students and the public.

The keel laying for the R/V Resolution will be May 7 at Gulf Island Shipyards, LLC in Louisiana, where Rhode Island Gov. Gina M. Raimondo will serve as ceremonial sponsor of the vessel and inscribe her initials into the ship’s keel. Raimondo will christen the vessel in 2021 when it is launched.

Nominations for the new vessel’s name were solicited from across the GSO and URI community, as well as from members of the East Coast Oceanographic Consortium, the 16-member body led by GSO to operate the R/V Resolution. Members of the public were also invited to submit nominations.

A selection committee of faculty, scientists, staff and students met in January to review the 148 submissions. Following the discussion, Corliss conferred with President Dooley and, on behalf of President Dooley, sent the suggested name to NSF.

“All of the committee members were steadfast that the new ship’s name be aspirational for the oceanographic community,” said Jon Alberts, executive secretary of the University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System and chair of the selection committee. “This is an excellent selection that points the way forward for collaboration on ocean research, education and outreach activities for decades to come.”