The new ship, which is still under construction, will be capable of navigating the margins of the ice cap. It will replace two research vessels which have already been taken out of service as well as the Alexander von Humboldt, which will be taken out of service at the end of 2004.
The Maria S. Merian is classed as a medium-sized research vessel and will be primarily deployed at the margins of the ice cap in the northern seas, a key region for research into current issues relating to the "ocean-climate" system. In addition to the Meteor, the Maria S. Merian is the second research vessel to be funded by the DFG under the funding instrument "Central Research Facilities" in conjunction with the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).
With its funding of research vessels as Central Research Facilities, the DFG ensures fair distribution of "ship time" according to the criteria of scientific performance. As with the Meteor, the new ship will be available to all German oceanographers and their international partners according to generally accepted rules.
In its 1999 white paper "Oceanography in the Next Decade", the DFG's Senate Commission on Oceanography pointed out the need to update the medium-sized German research fleet, which in its opinion no longer meets the changed requirements of modern oceanography.
In doing so, the commission gave an impetus for the decision by the federal and state working group on "German Research Vessels" (BLAG) to build a new ship capable of navigating the margins of the ice cap.
Construction of the vessel is being jointly funded by the BMBF and the states of Bremen, Hamburg, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, and Schleswig-Holstein, and will cost approximately 55 million. The vessel, owned by the s
Contact: Dr. Susanne Faulhaber