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The RV Falkor, an 83-meter, steel-hulled ship, is a newcomer to the world of oceanographic research. But the Falkor’s backers have helped make the vessel an immediate power in oceanography. They are Wendy Schmidt and her husband, Eric Schmidt, the executive chairman of Internet giant Google. Schmidt knows more than a little about mapping the world, and the couple are not only very wealthy, but committed to using their money to protect and explore the environment.