The University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) Large Lakes Observatory has been chosen to host the 2003 annual meeting of the Research Vessel Operators Council of the University National Oceanographic Laboratory System (UNOLS). The conference will take place October 8-10 at the Gitchee Gumee Conference Center of the EPA Laboratory on Congdon Boulevard in Duluth.
Over 50 marine superintendents, engineers, and ship operations managers from the nation's major oceanographic institutions, (including Scripps Institution of Oceanography and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution,) will meet during the council to discuss various issues of ship operations, including maritime safety and security, ship scheduling, fleet improvement, shipboard scientific equipment, and more. Also attending the meeting will be representatives from federal agencies such as the National Science Foundation, the U.S. State Department, the U.S. Coast Guard, and the Naval Oceanographic Office.
Captain Mike King of the Large Lakes Observatory has participated in past meetings of the Research Vessel Operators Council and is responsible for the Duluth venue for the meeting this year. The Large Lakes Observatory operates the research vessel "Blue Heron" on Lake Superior and the other Great Lakes, and is a member of UNOLS. As such, the UMD research vessel, the "Blue Heron" is subjected to the standards of operations, safety, and inspections that are imposed on all UNOLS research vessels throughout the nation.
Due to the technical nature of the meeting, it will not be open to the public.