The largest gift in the school's history will cover half the $20 million cost of fabricating and equipping a new research vessel, including $15 million for construction and $5 million to underwrite its operations. To be named Maggi Sue, the ship will replace the Neeskay, a converted Korean War-era ship that currently is the only research vessel at work year-round on the Great Lakes, an ecologically fragile freshwater ecosystem that supplies more than forty million people with clean drinking water, supports some 1.5 million jobs, and generates more than $62 billion in wages for people in the region.
Measuring a hundred and twenty feet long, the Maggi Sue will be the first dynamically positioned boat on the lakes, enabling it to stay in a single location regardless of current and weather conditions, and will have sensors for the collection of real-time data, interchangeable lab "pods" that can be switched depending on scientists' needs, space to accommodate an entire class of students, and sleeping accommodations for up to eighteen people.
"This gift will transform UWM's efforts to protect the Great Lakes, our nation's largest freshwater resource,” said UWM chancellor Mark Mone. "Its impact extends well beyond UW-Milwaukee and, frankly, beyond Wisconsin. It strengthens our efforts to protect the Great Lakes — all of them."
(Photo credit: Elora Hennessey)