The R/V Scott Petty is a 26-by-8-foot boat used by the University of Texas Institute for Geophysics (UTIG) to carry researchers and students on excursions to collect geophysical data with the goal of furthering geoscience research and education. It is equipped with multibeam and sidescan sonars, a chirp subbottom system profiler, and an acoustic Doppler current profiler. In addition, all data collected by the boat is precisely time-stamped and geographically tagged, thanks to a position and motion sensor on the vessel.
The Scott Petty Foundation donated the boat to the Jackson School of Geosciences (JSG) in April 2015 and started an endowment to pay for its maintenance. The boat is named after Scott Petty, whose father, Olive Scott Petty, founded the Petty Geophysical Engineering Company, one of the first seismic service companies in the oil industry. In addition to the Scott Petty Foundation, the boat is also supported by ConocoPhillips, which has provided funding for its scientific equipment, and ExxonMobil, which is funding a safety program for the vessel.
The boat is used by members of UTIG, JSG, and the Department of Geological Sciences. In it’s short existence the R/V Scott Petty has traversed the Wax Lake Delta System in Louisiana, mapped the lower Trinity River outside Houston, and used as part of UTIG’s Marine Geology and Geophysics Field Course in Freeport, Texas.
Dan Duncan, UTIG Research Scientist Associate, serves as the boat’s captain.
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