US naval research vessel Sally Ride yesterday departed for Palau to conduct oceanographic research after a 12-day port call in Keelung to replenish supplies and replace instruments.
The crew carried out exchanges with Taipei-based National Taiwan University (NTU), the Maritime Port Bureau said in a statement.
The vessel was also equipped with a Sea-Pol meteorological system, which can gather oceanic and atmospheric data within a radius of 100km, said Yang Yiing-jang (楊穎堅), a professor of oceanography at NTU, in an interview on Sunday.
Yang last year led the Ocean Researcher I, an NTU-managed ship, on a joint mission with a US research vessel, during which Taiwanese students and scientists boarded the US vessel.
He said the two sides would continue this mode of interaction to strengthen cooperation between Taiwan and the US in the field of science and research.
The Sally Ride would study atmospheric changes in the waters around Palau, Yang said.
James Moum, a professor of physical oceanography from Oregon State University, said that the oceanic environment and climate change are closely related, adding that researchers hope to set a direction for studies on this mission.
A researcher on board the Sally Ride said Taiwan’s location is ideal for research vessels that conduct studies in the western Pacific Ocean, the Philippine Sea and the South China Sea to resupply and refurbish.
He said Taiwan is also suitable for typhoon and current observation, adding that Taiwanese scientists have made remarkable achievements in the field of atmospheric and oceanic studies.
The Sally Ride is scheduled to return to Keelung on Sept. 27 for resupply, the bureau said.
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