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 Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute announces new state-of-the-art research ship, R/V David Packard

For over three decades, the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI), one of the Foundation’s marine science partners, has researched and revealed the astounding diversity of life deep beneath the surface, and the institute’s technology innovations have provided priceless insights into the ocean’s biogeochemical processes.  

MBARI is now embarking on its next chapter with the construction of a state-of-the-art ship. This new research vessel will be named in honor of David Packard, the founder of both the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and MBARI. The R/V David Packard will be capable of accommodating diverse expeditions in Monterey Bay and beyond to further the institute’s mission to understand our changing ocean.  

David Packard encouraged MBARI to pursue bold science and innovation, famously saying, “Take risks. Ask big questions.” MBARI’s new research vessel will further his vision for MBARI as a next-generation hub for groundbreaking science and innovation. “We wanted to honor Mr. Packard’s long-standing commitment to ocean research, technology, and conservation by naming this ship after him,” said Chris ScholinMBARI President and Chief Executive Officer. 

The new research ship will enable continued exploration of the deep sea, from the midnight zone—the inky depths below 1,000 meters (3,300 feet)—to the abyssal plain, with MBARI’s deep-diving remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Doc Ricketts. As the command center for the ROV Doc Ricketts, the David Packard will allow researchers to continue exploring the deepest reaches of the Monterey Canyon.  

“To safeguard Earth’s living ocean, we need to invest much more in science and exploration,” said Julie Packard, Chair of MBARI’s Board of Directors and Executive Director of the Monterey Bay Aquarium. “That’s something my father understood when he founded MBARI in 1987. MBARI’s new vessel will be a powerful research and exploration platform. And it will help Monterey Bay Aquarium show people around the world the wonders of deep-sea life by supporting our upcoming exhibition, Into the Deep: Exploring Our Undiscovered Ocean. I’m excited about the potential the R/V David Packard can contribute to inspiring ocean education and conservation for decades to come.” 

Please see this press release from MBARI with more information.