University of Hawai'i
(808) 956-8856 Telephone
For Immediate Release:
January 29, 2001
CONTACT: Shawn Nakamoto, (808) 956-9095, University & Community Relations
|DISCOVERER OF THE R.M.S. TITANIC TO SPEAK AT THE UNIVERSITY OF HAWAI'I AT MANOA|
HONOLULU- Dr. Robert Ballard, preeminent marine scientist and explorer and the discoverer of the R.M.S. Titanic, will be the guest speaker for the University of Hawai'i at Manoa's Distinguished Lecture Series. Dr. Ballad will present a free public lecture on Friday, February 9, 2001 at 7 p.m. in the UH Campus Center Ballroom. His talk, "Deep Sea Exploration," will chronicle the history of this field and highlight several of Dr. Ballard's significant contributions.
Ballard is in Hawai'i to lead this year's JASON Project, JASON XII, Hawai'i, A Living Laboratory. He is leading students, teachers and scientists on an expedition to Hawaii to explore its isolated islands that offer one of the best representations of Earth's geologic and biologic forces. From January 28 through February 9, JASON will broadcast live from Hawai'i to over 750,000 students and teachers using the latest satellite and Internet technology.
Ballard is committed to exploring the least-known portions of our planet-the regions that lie under water. According to Dr. Ballard, "We are in the Lewis-and-Clark stage of exploration of these regions." He compares viewing the ocean floor with walking on the moon. In the more than 20 years of exploration, Ballard has seen more of the ocean floor than anyone alive.
Ballard founded the JASON Project in 1989 after receiving thousands of letters from school children wanting to know how he discovered the R.M.S. Titanic. The mission of the JASON Foundation for Education, founded in 1990 to administer the program, is to excite and engage students in science and technology and to motivate and provide professional development for their teachers.
Ballard received his undergraduate degree in geology and chemistry from the University of California and attended graduate school at the University of Southern California, the University of Hawai'i's Graduate School of Oceanography, and received his Ph.D. in marine geology and geophysics from the University of Rhode Island. He is a distinguished military graduate of the University of California with a Commission in Army Intelligence. His Commission was later transferred to the U.S. Navy and during the Vietnam War, Ballard served on active duty as an Ensign, Lt. J.G., and finally as a Lieutenant. Ballard also joined the U.S. Naval Reserves as a Commander.
Ballard has led or participated in more than 100 deep-sea expeditions including the use of the deep-sea diving submersibles ALVIN, ARCHIMEDE, TRIESTE II, TURTLE, BEN FRANKLIN, CYANA and NR-1. These expeditions included the first manned exploration of the Mid-Ocean Ridge and the discovery of the German battleship Bismarck; 11 warships from the lost fleet of Guadalcanal; and exploration of the luxury liner Lusitania.
Ballard has published over 50 scientific articles in journals such as 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 ten articles in National Geographic magazine. He has also written bestseller books on his discoveries of the R.M.S. Titanic, Bismarck and the Lusitania. His latest book, The Eternal Darkness, was published in 1999.
Ballard also has participated in the production of numerous television programs for the BBC, Open University, National Geographic Educational Films, Nippon Television, German Television, the Office of Naval Research, the National Science Foundation, Public Television, Walter Cronkite's Universe and several National Geographic television specials. From 1989 to 1991, he hosted National Geographic EXPLORER, a program shown weekly on TBS. He was also a technical advisor on "seaQuest DSV" during its premiere season in 1993.
The University of Hawai'i at Manoa's Distinguished Lecture Series was inaugurated in 1998. In past years, the Series has brought such notables as novelist Michael Ondaatje, astronomer Sir Martin Rees, and most recently, Anna Devere Smith to appearances before standing-room-only audiences. Scheduled to appear this April, is noted cultural theorist and geographer David Harvey.
For further information, including questions about disability access,
call 956-9405. Sign language interpretation will be provided for Dr. Ballard's