Future Great Lakes research vessel gets US$1 million grant from local non-profit

Photo: UWM
Photo: UWM

Wisconsin-based non-profit The Brookby Foundation has committed US$1 million to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) in support of a new research vessel for the university's School of Freshwater Sciences.

Maggi Sue will replace Neeskay, a converted Korean War-era US Army T-boat purchased by UWM more than 50 years ago. The new vessel will be operated in the Great Lakes and will be fitted with sensors that collect real-time data, interchangeable lab pods that can be swapped out based on the needs of scientists, and a dynamic positioning system.

The vessel will also feature wet and dry lab spaces for onboard experiments, a classroom and data visualisation lab that will accommodate groups of students, and sleeping accommodations that will allow scientists and crew to remain on the water for longer periods of time, gathering continuous readings without needing to return to shore.

The School of Freshwater Sciences has raised over US$13 million toward the US$20 million needed to build the new vessel. Construction will take approximately two years.

UWM said the vessel will be the largest 100 per cent privately funded capital project in the university's history.

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