Christening Minerva: University of Alabama Grad Student Builds Boat to Study River Bottom

Author: Ed Enoch [The Tuscaloosa News]

At a public boat launch on the Black Warrior River packed with boaters taking advantage of the long Labor Day weekend, University of Alabama graduate student Eugene Randle, plastic champagne coupe in hand, celebrated his months-long labor moored at the busy dock.

Randle gathered with family, neighbors and fellow graduate students and professors from the department of geography to celebrate the launch of his research vessel Minerva, a renovated pontoon boat outfitted to help him study the river bottom of the Black Warrior River.

“She’s not a luxury craft, she’s kind of spartan,” Randle said.

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