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Robert Ballard

 Robert Ballard Biography

Making discoveries that have captured the imagination of the public, Dr. Robert Ballard is best known for his 1985 discovery of the TITANIC. He has succeeded in tracking down numerous other significant shipwrecks, including the German battleship BISMARCK, the lost fleet of Guadalcanal, the U.S. aircraft carrier YORKTOWN (sunk in the World War II Battle of Midway) and John F. Kennedy’s boat, PT-109.

In addition to being a National Geographic Society Explorer-In-Residence and a commissioner on the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy, Dr. Ballard is the president of the Ocean Exploration Trust (OET). Having spent 30 years at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Dr. Ballard helped develop telecommunications technology to create “tele-presence” for his education initiative, which allows hundreds of thousands of schoolchildren to accompany him from afar on undersea explorations around the globe each year. He has a Ph.D. in marine geology and geophysics from the University of Rhode Island and in 2001, he returned to the Graduate School of Oceanography where he is presently a tenured Professor of Oceanography and Director of the Center for Ocean Exploration.

Dr. Ballard has 21 honorary degrees and six military awards. He was also a Commander in the U.S. Naval Reserve, serving in the Navy from 1967 to 1997. He received the National Geographic Society’s prestigious Hubbard Medal in 1996 for “extraordinary accomplishments in coaxing secrets from the world’s oceans and engaging students in the wonder of science.” In 2014, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Dr. Ballard has published numerous books, scientific papers and a dozen articles in National Geographic magazine. His 1997 best-selling book, Lost Liners, tells the story of the great transatlantic liners through memorable wrecks he has visited. He also has been featured in several National Geographic television programs, including the record-breaking Secrets of the TITANIC and was a special advisor on Steven Spielberg’s futuristic seaQuest DSV television show.

In his keynotes, Dr. Robert Ballard shares his remarkable experiences and discusses the technology that allowed him to accomplish what he did. An explorer, discoverer and historian, Dr. Ballard’s fascinating journeys can teach us a great deal about our past and encourage others to take tremendous strides in the survey of the undiscovered mysteries of the deep sea

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