The Ministry of Education, in partnership with the Secretariat of the Interministerial Commission for Marine Resources of Marinha do Brasil, granted UFF the management of the school ship Ciências do Mar III (CMIII), which will provide on-board practical teaching and research experience to students, professors and researchers from universities in the southeast region of the country. The vessel docked this Friday morning, February 20, at the Hydrography and Navigation Directorate, where it was welcomed with a preliminary Welcome event.

The estimative is that, at the end of March, UFF will hold the Baptism ceremony, bringing together the authorities involved and the community, to officially inaugurate the beginning of CMIII activities. The ceremony will be held as soon as the floating teaching laboratory is fully equipped and ready to be used in favor of marine research. The ship is one of four vessels that will serve as a floating teaching laboratory in the following Brazilian educational institutions: Universidade Federal do Rio Grande (FURG) — coordinator of the process of preparing the projects and construction of the ships — Universidade Federal do Maranhão (UFMA), Universidade Federal de Pernambuco (UFPE) and Universidade Federal Fluminense (UFF).

We will have cooperation from the Directorate of Hydrography and Navigation of Marinha do Brasil and we will also partner with the city of Niterói, making the ship available for visitation by public schools. The goal is to create a culture of the sea through the approach of children and adolescents to research related to the sea and, in a national perspective, the Amazônia Azul.

 

Antonio Claudio Lucas da Nobrega
President of UFF

Researchers Abílio Soares and Marcus Rodrigues, from the Department of Marine Biology, and Arthur Ayres, from the Department of Geochemistry, are part of the vessel’s management committee. They were in Fortaleza last month to formalize the delivery of the ship to UFF by the shipyard Indústria Naval do Ceará, responsible for its design and construction. There, the teachers followed the ship’s commissioning tests (engine, generator, navigation devices, lamps) so that it could leave safely.

“We made this trip to observe the dynamics of the ship, how it was living together, and also several issues, such as the functioning of the air conditioning, the bathroom, the kitchen, and the navigation performance itself, foreseeing and understanding the problems that could happen. The experience was positive. Now with the vessel already in Baía de Guanabara, we are finalizing a report so that the ship can start operating in the best way and for as long as possible,” highlights Arthur Ayres.

The Training of Human Resources in Marine Sciences, coordinated by the Ministry of Education, recognized the relevance of the school ship project and invested around BRL10 million in the construction of the CMIII, which aims mainly at promoting scientific development, innovation, and technology for maritime research. “The demand for ships is the result of a study that found the relevance of the experience onboard for students of the various courses in Marine Sciences,” points out Arthur Ayres.

Professor Abílio Soares points out that the boat will be of UFF’s property and will consolidate the importance of the university for the Sciences of the Sea in Brazil. The arrival of the vessel to compose the ‘floating teaching laboratories’ reflects a major advance in professional training in Marine Sciences, enabling research on the oceans for the preservation of ecosystems, the development of technological innovations, the exploitation of natural resources, as well as on climate change. “Its importance is for courses in Marine Sciences as well as hospitals and clinics are for courses in health sciences,” he points out.

In addition to the development of studies in the area of Marine Sciences, the floating laboratory will serve to bring researchers from other institutions and to attract resources from other research areas. “We will have cooperation from the Directorate of Hydrography and Navigation of Marinha do Brasil and we will also partner with the city of Niterói, making the ship available for visitation by public schools. The goal is to create a culture of the sea through the approach of children and adolescents to research related to the sea and, in a national perspective, the Amazônia Azul,” declares UFF president Antonio Claudio Lucas da Nóbrega.

The Niterói’s Secretary of Finances, Giovanna Victer, reiterates the relevance of the partnership with the City Hall that will provide educational visits on the ship to children from public and private schools in the city. “The goal is to create an opportunity for these young people to have access to extraordinary and modern equipment, arousing curiosity about this science and the great potential that the city has, which is our seafront,” she celebrates.