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World-renowned oceanographer, photographer Robert Ballard to speak in final presentation of University Lectures 2008-09 season

March 16, 2009

Kelly Homan Rodoski
(315) 443-3784

Kelly Homan Rodoski

World-renowned oceanographer and photographer Robert Ballard has unlocked numerous fascinating secrets deep on the ocean floor during his long and accomplished career. He will share those discoveries and his experiences in a University Lectures presentation at Syracuse University on Tuesday, March 24.

BallardBallard will speak on "Adventure in Deep Sea Exploration: Living the Dream" at 7:30 p.m. in Hendricks Chapel. The event, sponsored in cooperation with the Geoffrey O. Seltzer Lecture in The College of Arts and Sciences, is free and open to the public. Reduced-rate parking will be available in the Irving Garage. A sign language interpreter will be available, and CART will be available if possible.

Ballard will share photographs from his expeditions through a multimedia presentation.

A pioneer in the early use of deep-diving submarines, Ballard was on the first manned expedition of the largest mountain range on Earth, the Mid-Ocean Ridge. Later he led an expedition off the Galapagos Islands that discovered new life forms, a discovery that has revolutionized our understanding of the origin of life on our planet and increased the likelihood of discovering life elsewhere in the solar system. Following his discovery of the Titanic in 1985, he went to find other lost legends of the sea, including the German battleship Bismarck; the aircraft carrier Yorktown, lost during the Battle of Midway; and President John F. Kennedy's PT-109. He has conducted more than 120 deep-sea explorations.

Ballard has also pioneered distance learning in the classrooms of America and around the world with his JASON Project, an award-winning educational program that reaches more than 1.7 million students and 38,000 teachers annually. His books on his discovery of the Titanic and Bismarck were both #1 bestsellers on The New York Times and London Times lists, and his "Return to Titanic" special on the National Geographic Channel was the highest-rated show in its history.

Ballard is explorer-in-residence for the National Geographic Society, president of the Institute for Exploration, scientist emeritus from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and director of the Institute for Archaeological Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island.

Now in its eighth year, University Lectures maintains its tradition of bringing to the SU campus some of the most influential movers and shapers from around the world. The series is supported by the generosity of the University's trustees, alumni and friends. The schedule for the 2009-10 season will be announced in April. For more information, visit

The Geoffrey O. Seltzer Lecture Series was established in memory of Seltzer, an internationally recognized researcher in paleoclimatology and a member of the faculty of the Department of Earth Sciences in The College of Arts and Sciences before his death in 2005 at age 45. The lecture series is made possible through the generosity of Seltzer's family, friends and colleagues.

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