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Vessel Nauvoo Monmouth University
Aug 06, 2018

Monmouth University Unveils Research Vessel Nauvoo

Vessel Nauvoo Monmouth University

A new research vessel unveiled by Monmouth University officials will advance Monmouth University’s growth in marine research, according to the school’s president.

The acquisition of the 49-foot Nauvoo – the largest member of the university’s research vessel fleet – will enable the Monmouth University Urban Coast Institute (UCI) to conduct research, educational and contract work at a larger scale than ever before.

“Few universities throughout the East Coast have a research vessel of this class,” said Monmouth University President Grey Dimenna. “The Nauvoo will advance our growth as a premier marine research and policy center in the region. For students interested in marine science, this is yet another great reason to come study at our beautiful coastal campus.”

Vessel Nauvoo Monmouth University

The Nauvoo will enhance in-house research and monitoring capabilities to meet increasing faculty and student demand within the School of Science’s Marine and Environmental Biology and Policy Program. The vessel will also make it possible to take full classes and large groups on the water and work on the open ocean up to 20 nautical miles offshore. In addition, overnight research trips on the water are now possible, as the vessel has a head and the capacity to berth seven.

The new vessel was unveiled at a ceremony on June 20, attended by Monmouth University leaders, faculty and students, joined by state and federal officials.

The Nauvoo is outfitted with state-of-the-art technologies including a side-scan sonar system that provides highly detailed views of underwater terrains. The vessel will provide critical support for in-house scientists and students, and additional capacity to work collaboratively with government agencies, academic institutions and NGOs on areas of critical concern such as oyster restoration, shore erosion and channel shoaling.

Originally built as a U.S. Coast Guard buoy tender, the Nauvoo was later transferred to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which provided it to the university in 2017 at no cost. The vessel has since undergone extensive maintenance and improvement work. It joins two smaller UCI-maintained vessels that have long served the university’s primary marine field operations and research needs – the 18-foot Little Hawk and 27-foot Seahawk.

Among the current university projects the vessel will aid are a probe of sediment contamination in New York Harbor; ongoing research on distributions and behaviors of the endangered Atlantic sturgeon and sharks off the New Jersey and New York coasts; collaboration with Rockefeller University on testing regional waters for environmental DNA (eDNA) fragments that can confirm the presence of fish and other marine organisms; studies of harmful algae blooms in coastal waters; water quality monitoring and testing; and fisheries surveys for state and federal agencies.