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Marine Operations

David Starr Jordan

NOAA Ship David Starr Jordan

NOAA Ship David Starr Jordan underway.

NOAA Ship David Starr Jordan was built in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, in 1964 and commissioned in San Diego, California, in 1966. The ship was designed and built for the U.S. Bureau of Commercial Fisheries, which later became part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, for the purpose of fisheries research in the tropical Pacific. Since commissioning, David Starr Jordan has logged over a million miles while studying the biological and physical oceanography of the southwestern U.S. coast and the eastern tropical Pacific. David Starr Jordan was an integral part of the marine mammal surveys conducted by the Protected Resources Division of the NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service's Southwest Fisheries Science Center. These surveys included the Stenella Abundance Research Project (STAR), a three-year study designed to assess the status of dolphin stocks which have been taken as incidental catch by the yellowfin tuna purse-seine fishery in the eastern tropical Pacific. 

The ship was named after Dr. David Starr Jordan (1851-1931). Dr. Jordan was one of the best known naturalists and educators of his time. He wrote more than 50 books and published over 600 scientific papers on topics ranging from ichthyology (the branch of zoology dealing with fish) to advancing world peace. In 1879, at the age 34, Dr. Jordan became president of Indiana University. In 1891, he was selected as the first president of Stanford University, a post he held for 25 years. Dr. Jordan was a member of the California State Fish Commission, and his investigations of the exploitation of the salmon and fur seal populations helped save these species.

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