The side of a large boat with a purple UW "W" painted on it, water and bridge in background.
Dennis Wise/University of Washington
The upgrades range from replacing major systems to a fresh paint job.

After an “extreme makeover” that went from stem to stern on five decks of the ship, the R/V Thomas G. Thompson is ready to get back to work exploring the world’s oceans.

The University of Washington’s School of Oceanography, part of the College of the Environment, operates the 274-foot ship, which arrived on campus in 1991. In summer 2016, with funding from the U.S. Office of Naval Research, the National Science Foundation and the UW, the vessel headed to a Seattle shipyard for an 18-month midlife refit that will extend its life for another quarter century.

“The Tommy Thompson has a rich history of science and exploration, and now she’s better equipped than ever to travel the world’s oceans and help students and scientists make new discoveries,” said Virginia (Ginger) Armbrust, professor and chair of the UW School of Oceanography.

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