New research vessel for UAF

The University of Alaska Fairbanks had an exciting announcement today from their department of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences.

The Dean for the department told a large audience of business leaders that the University was less than a month and a half away from the launch of a new state–of–the–art research vessel.

The two hundred million dollar ship named "see–koo–lee–uk" an Inupiaq word for "young sea ice" will allow scientists to journey to the ice–choked waters of Alaska and polar regions.

The 261 foot ship will be owned by the National Science Foundation and will be operated by the University.

The ship and its crew along with various projects could mean an infusion into the state's economy of millions of dollars annually.

Michael Castellini the Dean for Department of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, says this ship will be a bonus to the State.

"So it's a unique vessel, like saying we're operating the "Hubble Space Telescope" for example.

So researchers from around the United States will apply to the National Science Foundation to say they want to use the vessel,

And the National Science Foundation will approve which projects get funded

Then it's up to us and the fleet to schedule the ship and get the people where they need to go.

Since it's an "Arctic Class" it can go anywhere in the Arctic."

The University says the ship will be ready for its first sailing from its home port of Seward, Alaska by, January of 1914.