The U.S. academic research fleet is an essential national resource, and it is likely that scientific demands on the fleet will increase. Oceanographers are embracing a host of remote technologies that can facilitate the collection of data, but will continue to require capable, adaptable research vessels for access to the sea for the foreseeable future. Maintaining U.S. leadership in ocean research will require investing in larger and more capable general purpose Global and Regional class ships; involving the scientific community in all phases of ship design and acquisition; and improving coordination between agencies that operate research fleets.
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