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On July 19, the new NOAA oceanographic research vessel, the Ronald H. Brown, was commissioned by Department of Commerce Secretary William M. Daley in Charleston, S.C. The 274-foot ship was named after the late former Commerce Secretary who died in a plane crash in 1996, while on an overseas trade mission.

Scientists will use advanced sampling and analytical instruments aboard the ship to collect atmospheric and ocean data that are critical to understanding global climate change. “With its Doppler radar, upper-air sounding system, and wind profiler system, the Brown is a world-class atmospheric research platform, making it unequaled in the domestic research fleet for sampling both the oceans and atmosphere and discovering the profound interactions that bind them,” said D. James Baker, Commerce undersecretary for oceans and atmosphere. The ship and its team of university and NOAA scientists departed from Charleston on July 21 for the its first scientific cruise.