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News Release 09-009

U.S. Scientific Ocean Drilling Vessel Sets Sail for Science Sea Trials

Modernization, upgrade of JOIDES Resolution completed

Photo of the modernized and upgraded ocean drillship JOIDES Resolution.

The ocean drillship JOIDES Resolution, modernized and upgraded, has set sail for science sea trials.

January 26, 2009

This material is available primarily for archival purposes. Telephone numbers or other contact information may be out of date; please see current contact information at media contacts.

After a complete transformation to modernize and upgrade the research vessel JOIDES Resolution (JR, for short), the ship has set sail from the Singapore shipyard where the work was done, for science sea trials and transit to Honolulu.

The JOIDES Resolution is the U.S. research vessel for exploring and monitoring the sub-seafloor. It operates as part of the international Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP.)

Already a 20-year workhorse on behalf of scientific ocean drilling, the JOIDES Resolution has been completely refurbished.  It's now poised to help IODP continue to push the edge of science by collecting unique sub-seafloor samples and data that would otherwise remain out of reach to researchers.

"We are extremely pleased to see the JOIDES Resolution set sail once more for science--with a vastly improved capability for performing cutting-edge research into the secrets of Earth's past climate and ocean conditions, and our planet's interior and deep biosphere," said Tim Killeen, NSF assistant director for geosciences. "NSF congratulates all involved in the successful refit and modernization of this major research platform."

"This is a long-awaited day for the world of ocean research," said Robert Gagosian, president and CEO of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership. "The JOIDES Resolution is operational again for IODP expeditions at an extremely important time, when our need for scientific understanding of our ocean planet--and climate and energy challenges--is at its greatest. The research pursuits of thousands of scientists around the globe will be enhanced in a major way by the future work of the JR."

Steven Bohlen, interim director of science services at IODP's U.S. Implementing Organization--Texas A&M University, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University and the Consortium for Ocean Leadership--said that "from close ties with the community of scientists involved with IODP's work, it's a huge thrill for all of us to have this important vessel back in action."

Expeditions onboard the JR help improve scientific understanding of the causes of natural hazards such as earthquakes and tsunamis; Earth's changing climate conditions over the past 100 million years; methane hydrates--"frozen" deposits of methane gas that may be a major factor in climate change; and future rising sea levels, by examining the evidence of past sea level rise and climate change in seafloor sediments.


Media Contacts
Cheryl Dybas, NSF, (703) 292-7734, email:
Jon Corsiglia, Consortium for Ocean Leadership, (202) 787-1644, email:
Nancy Light, IODP-Management International, (202) 465-7511, email:

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2020, its budget is $8.3 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 50,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards.

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