NARRAGANSETT, R.I. (WPRI) — The University of Rhode Island is celebrating 40 years of service for its research ship, R/V Endeavor.
Saturday morning, URI invited the public to tour the ship at its dock in Narragansett. The ship serves the Graduate School of Oceanography and has been taking graduate students out on the waves all over the world since her commissioning in 1976.
“The University of Rhode Island works from Indonesia to West Africa, from the Arctic to the Antarctic, and the Endeavor has carried the URI colors and the URI banner and that of the state of Rhode Island, all over the world,” URI President David Dooley said.
All graduate students must put to sea aboard Endeavor for hands-on experience with the ship’s equipment before they earn their degrees.
Endeavor is one of 16 purpose-built research ships owned by the National Science Foundation and operated primarily by universities. She received a major refit in 1993 for modernization and school officials hope to keep her sailing until 2020 or 2022, but they are also looking ahead to her possible replacement.
“We’re going to be having a competition for a replacement vessel hopefully this coming year,” Bruce Corliss, Dean of the Graduate School of Oceanography, said. “The National Science Foundation will be building two or three new vessels – one will be on the west coast, one on the east coast, and if there’s a third it will be in the Gulf [of Mexico] – and we hope to be the operator of the Atlantic vessel to replace the Endeavor.”
Governor Raimondo attended the event and highlighted the importance of the ship and of URI to the state’s economy.