irso Banner


NEW: Information about checking in at the meeting

The 24th IRSO Meeting will be held in Seattle, Washington in the Pacific Northwest of the USA. Full meeting dates will be Wednesday to Friday, May 25-27, 2010.  Prior to the IRSO meeting a one-day workshop on “Evolving Changes in Seagoing Oceanography: Implications for Research Vessel Operations” will be held on Tuesday, May 24. 

Meeting Background Information
The International research Ship Operators Meeting (ISOM) was founded in 1986 and is an informal annual meeting of managers of ocean research ship fleets for the purposes of discussion topics and sharing information of mutual interest.  This includes discussion on new research vessels, marine scientific and ships’ operational equipment, changing scientific requirements, voyage planning, manning, training, classifications and certifications, liabilities and insurances, and equipment exchange and vessel barters between members.  The meeting is attended voluntarily and held in one of the participating countries.  ISOM was renamed the International Research Ship Operators (IRSO) meeting in 2010 to better reflect its membership and purpose.  For more information, please refer to

University of Washington
The School of Oceanography and the Applied Physics Laboratory at the University of Washington are honored to be hosting the 24th IRSO Meeting in Seattle, USA.

The School of Oceanography was organized formally in 1951 from the UW Oceanographic Laboratories, founded in 1930 by Professor Thomas G. Thompson. The School of Oceanography is a national leader in oceanographic research and education and is at the forefront of creating knowledge and understanding about the ocean through observation, theory, modeling and technological innovation.  The School has expertise in all the major oceanographic disciplines with cross-disciplinary emphases on research in coastal processes, climate change, extreme environments and ocean observing platforms.  The School operates two UNOLS research vessels, the R/V Thomas G. Thompson, a 274-foot, 3000-ton global class vessel owned by the US Navy, and the 65-foot R/V Clifford A. Barnes a local class vessel owned by the National Science Foundation.

The UW Applied Physics Laboratory was formed in 1943 at the request of the U.S. Navy to bring university resources to bear on urgent World War II defense problems. From a wartime beginning focused on effective torpedo exploders, APL-UW initiated acoustic studies and oceanographic research programs to understand how variations in the ocean environment affected the performance of Navy systems. Scientists and engineers at APL continues to lead research in the basic and applied physics of sound and are also making important contributions to coastal and small-scale oceanography, satellite and in situ studies of the earth's climate cycles, observations of variations and impacts of Arctic sea ice, and ocean tomography.  The Applied Physics Laboratory owns two coastal research vessels, the 70-foot R/V J.E. Henderson and the newly constructed 57-foot R/V Robertson.



New map to meeting location (PDF)

Detailed Meeting schedule

Detailed Workshop schedule

R/V Thomas G. Thompson

On Thursday May 26th there will be a lunchtime cruise on board the R/V Thomas G. Thompson from downtown Seattle to the University of Washington dock via the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks (Ballard Locks).  During the meeting, there will also be opportunities to tour oceanographic facilities in APL and the School of Oceanography