UVM President Suresh Garimella, left, with Marcelle and Patrick Leahy and the unveiling of R/V Marcelle Melosira. Photo courtesy UVM.

Vermont Business Magazine University of Vermont President Suresh Garimella revealed the name of the university’s new lake research vessel Saturday in recognition of Senator Patrick Leahy’s clean water legacy.

“Senator Leahy has shown unwavering support for scientific research that benefits Vermont and the people of Vermont,” Garimella said. “His decades of commitment to improving and preserving water quality in the Lake Champlain watershed has made our region healthier and our future brighter. The senator’s stewardship of the research vessel project will allow UVM researchers to continue this important work in the future.

The first-of-its-kind research vessel, a 64-foot aluminum electric hybrid catamaran that will serve as a floating classroom and laboratory, will be named D/V Marcelle Melosira, honoring the Senator’s wife, Marcelle Leahy, and the legacy of N/R Melosirathe boat replaced by the new vessel.

“Marcelle Leahy is among UVM’s closest and most dedicated friends,” Garimella said. “Appellation Marcelle as it will remind all who encounter UVM’s flagship research vessel of its significant and lasting impact on the quality of life in the Lake Champlain region.

Garimella revealed the ship’s name at an event commemorating the 50e anniversary of the Clean Water Act and Senator Leahy’s legacy of support for clean water initiatives. The ship is expected to arrive next year at UVM’s Rubenstein Ecosystems Science Laboratorylocated in the Leahy Center for Lake Champlain on the Burlington waterfront.

Throughout his service as a representative of the people of Vermont in Congress, Senator Leahy has made Lake Champlain one of his top priorities. He secured over $110 million in federal funding to clean up and protect Lake Champlain and led federal efforts to study the lake and learn the most effective ways to preserve its natural beauty and protect it for future generations.

UVM researchers on Lake Champlain carry out a wide range of scientific missions, from restoring local populations of lake trout to studying global climate change. Marcelle will serve as a scientific platform and floating classroom for UVM, as well as for middle schools, high schools and public groups participating in NOAA’s Sea Grant Watershed Alliance educational program. To meet both of these needs, the new ship has a large indoor laboratory and an accessible teaching space. It is built as a US Coast Guard inspected passenger vessel. Marcelle will be supported in part by a generous $1 million endowment from Class of 1954 alumnus F. Peter Rose.

The R/V Marcelle Melosira is a symbol of the university’s focus on advancing sustainable development practices. Partially propelled by two alternating current electric motors, the vessel will be able to operate in all-electric mode for journeys of less than two hours. Marcelle will be a low-emission boat with less vibration—nearly silent for students and researchers on deck, and less intrusive below the lake surface for studying fish and other wildlife.

About the University of Vermont

Since 1791, the University of Vermont has worked to advance humanity. UVM’s strengths align with the most pressing needs of our time: the health of our societies and the health of our environment. Our size – large enough to offer a wide range of ideas, resources and opportunities, but intimate enough to allow close mentorship between faculty and students at all levels of study – allows us to pursue these interconnected questions through interdisciplinary research and collaboration. Providing an unparalleled educational experience for our students and ensuring their success is at the heart of what we do. As one of the nation’s premier land-grant universities, UVM advances Vermont and society at large through the discovery and application of new knowledge.

UVM is derived from the Latin Universitas Viridis Montis (in English, University of the Green Mountains).

BURLINGTON, Vermont — University of Vermont 10.8.2022