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Titanic discoverer Ballard to speak at Coastal Carolina

February 19, 2004

Robert Ballard, one of the worlds best known oceanographers, will speak on the topic The Challenges of Deep Sea Exploration: Research, Execution and Results on Wednesday, March 10 at 3:30 p.m. in Coastal Carolina Universitys Wheelwright Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

Ballard, who became world famous in 1985 for his discovery of the wreck of the legendary ocean liner Titanic, has led or participated in more than 100 deep sea expeditions, many featuring the use of deep-diving submersibles to explore hidden features of the ocean bottom.

His expeditions have led to the discovery of the German battleship Bismarck,11 World War II warships from the lost fleet of Guadalcanal, the U.S.S Yorktown and the exploration of the luxury liner Lusitania.

Ballards explorations in the Mediterranean Sea have unearthed the remains of ancient Roman shipwrecks dating to the fourth century A.D. Ballard is the founder of the JASON Project, a non-profit educational organization working in partnership with teachers, students, corporations, educational institutions and government to inspire in students a lifelong passion to pursue learning in science, math and technology through exploration and discovery. He also heads the Institute for Exploration (IFE) at Mystic Marinelife Aquarium in Mystic, Conn. Specializing in deep-ocean archaeology, IFEs goal is to establish this new field of research using evolving technology such as advanced mapping and imaging systems, underwater robotics and manned submersibles.

He has published more than 50 scientific articles in journals including Science, Nature, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, and the Journal of Geophysical Research. He received the Newcomb-Cleveland award from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) for an article he co-authored in Science, detailing the discovery of high temperature vent fields in the East Pacific Rise. Ballard has also written many popular articles for the general public, including 10 articles in National Geographic magazine.

Ballard earned a bachelors degree in geology and chemistry from the University of California. He attended graduate school at the University of Southern California, the University of Hawaiis Graduate School of Oceanography and received a Ph.D. in marine geology and geophysics from the University of Rhode Island. He served in the Vietnam war and is a commander in the U.S. Naval Reserves.