The R/V Maurice Ewing came into port for the last time on 10 March 2005, tying up at Quonset Point, R.I., astern of the ship slated to be her replacement (Figure 1). M/V Western Legend (Figure 1, left) will, during fall and winter of 2005–2006, be converted as R/V Marcus G. Langseth, and will replace the Maurice Ewing (Figure 1, right) as the primary seismic research vessel within the U.S. academic research vessel fleet.
During its distinguished 15-year career, Ewing's operations added fundamentally to the knowledge and understanding of solid Earth dynamics and structure. Ewing began life as the M/V Bernier, and performed seismic offshore exploration for Petro Canada. In an innovative process, which included initialization provided by Columbia University, the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) acquired Bernier in 1989, and the ship's title passed to NSF in 1990. Bernier was converted into R/V Ewing for a total expenditure (approximately $12 million) far below the cost of building and outfitting a new seismic research ship.