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Famed ocean explorer named 2010 Nevada Medal recipient



Dr. Robert Ballard famed ocean explorer to give Titanic presentation in Reno on April 20, 2010

Ballard Portrait_004LAS VEGAS — Robert Ballard, Ph.D., best known for his 1985 discovery of the TITANIC, will give a presentation on  Tuesday, April 20 at the Peppermill Hotel Casino as part of his recognition as the Nevada Medal Honoree.

“Robert Ballard is among the most accomplished and well known of the world’s deep-sea explorers and it will be an honor to welcome him to Nevada,” Wells said. “An explorer, discoverer and historian, Dr. Ballard’s fascinating journeys can teach us a great deal about our past, and they have encouraged others to take tremendous strides in the survey of the undiscovered mysteries of the deep sea,” Wells added.

Ballard is celebrating 50 years of scientific exploration and discovery, while his shipwreck discoveries have captured the imagination of the public, Ballard says those are not his most important discoveries. “Locating the hydrothermal vents and ‘black smokers’ in the Galapagos Rift and East Pacific Rise in 1977 and 1979 along with their exotic life forms living off the energy of the Earth through a process now called chemosynthesis, were some of the most important of my career,” Ballard said. In addition to being a National Geographic Society Explorer-In-Residence and a commissioner on the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy, Ballard is the founder and president of the Institute for Exploration (IFE) in Mystic, CT

Ballard grew up exploring the shore in San Diego, later earning a Ph.D. in marine geology and geophysics from the University of Rhode Island.  He spent 30 years at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, where he helped develop telecommunications technology to create “tele-presence” for his JASON Project and Immersion Learning, which allows hundreds of thousands of schoolchildren to accompany him from afar on undersea explorations around the globe each year.  In 2001, he returned to the Graduate School of Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island where he is presently a tenured Professor of Oceanography and Director of the Center for Ocean Exploration and Archaeological Oceanography.

Ballard earned 21 honorary degrees and six military awards. He served as a commander in the U.S. Naval Reserve 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.”  Ballard has published numerous books, scientific papers, and a dozen articles in National Geographic magazine.

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