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R/V Laurence M. Gould

L.M. Gould docked at Palmer Station

Palmer Station personnel untie the R/V L.M. Gould from the Palmer Station pier. (NSF photo by Bob DeValentino)

The R/V Laurence M.Gould, was built in 1997 by Edison Chousest Offshore, Inc., Galliano, Louisiana. The Gould is a 76 meters in length and is ice-strengthened (Ice class ABS A1) . The Gould replaced the R/V Polar Duke, which was chartered by NSF from 1985-1997. The Gould, a multi-disciplinary research platform, is designed for year-round polar operations and can accomodate 26 research scientists for missions up to 75 days long. Its primary mission is to support research in the Antarctic Peninsula region and to resupply and transport researchers and staff between Palmer Station and South American ports. For ship deck layouts, lab photographs, schedules, equipment, ship user committee issues, and a variety of other information regarding USAP research ships, go to Lockheed-Martin Antarctic Support Contract (LM ASC) Vessel Science and Operations web site at

The R/V Laurence M. Gould is named in honor of Laurence McKinley Gould, polar explorer, geologist, teacher, and college president. He was second-in-command to Admiral Richard E. Byrd's first Antarctic expedition of 1929-1930. During this expedition Byrd established the base camp at Little America from which his team explored the continent, including flights over the South Pole. Gould, an international figure with 25 honorary degrees and the presidency of a number of scientific organizations, died in 1995 at the age of 99, the year that the NSF initiated the charter for the services of this ice-strengthened vessel to further its studies and knowledge of the Antarctic region.

L.M. Gould docked at Palmer Station

R/V L.M. Gould docked at Palmer Station. (NSF photo by Kelly Jacques)