About The JR

The JOIDES Resolution (JR) is a seagoing research vessel that drills core samples and collects measurements from under the ocean floor, giving scientists a glimpse into Earth’s development. Data from the JR’s ocean drilling offer a scientific means of understanding climate and environmental change throughout a significant part of our planet’s history—a research subject often termed Earth’s paleoclimate. The JR’s core samples are the “smoking gun” in evaluating many historical events related to paleoclimate, changes in the solid earth and more — like the extinction of the dinosaurs and plate tectonics, for example.

Why “JOIDES Resolution?” The research vessel is named for HMS Resolution, commanded by Captain James Cook over 200 years ago, which explored the Pacific Ocean, its islands, and the Antarctic region. Like its namesake, the purpose of our current Resolution is to sail for scientific exploration. This time, those discoveries lie beneath the ocean floor.

JOIDES is an acronym for the Joint Oceanographic Institutions for Deep Earth Sampling, which represents the original partnership of universities that sought to explore the geology beneath the ocean floor. Today the ship is used by scientists at hundreds of universities around the world.

Work aboard the research vessel never ceases; operations continue 24 hours a day. JOIDES Resolution’s complement can consist of 50 scientists and technicians and 65 crew members. The crew consists of marine professionals and ocean drilling specialists, among others. The JR’s science party is specific to each mission, with skills and science disciplines chosen especially to best achieve the mission’s goals.

The JR began working for the Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) in 1985. Drilling with ODP continued until September 2003, at which point the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) began. IODP is an international research program that explores the history and structure of the earth as recorded in seafloor sediments and rocks.

From 2006-2008, The JR was completely retrofitted with exciting new scientific drillling equipment, new structural improvements and significant upgrades. It is almost a whole new ship! The JR returned as IODP’s “light” drilling vessel in 2009, along with the riser vessel Chikyu operated by Japan, and mission-specific platforms operated by the European consortium ECORD. In 2013, the program was renamed the International Ocean Discovery Program. The JOIDES Resolution is owned by Overseas Drilling Limited, a subsidiary of Siem Offshore AS, and the ship is operated by the JOIDES Resolution Science Operator (JRSO) at Texas A&M University through funding from the U.S. National Science Foundation.