Famed oceanographer Robert Ballard second Distinguished Speaker for 20

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Prominent oceanographer Robert Ballard, most noted for his work in underwater archaeology, including discovering the wreck of the Titanic, is the second speaker in Penn State’s 2011-12 Student Programming Association’s Distinguished Speaker Series. Ballard will speak at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 10, in Eisenhower Auditorium at Penn State’s University Park campus.

Ballard, who has a Ph.D. in marine biology and geophysics spent 30 years at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in Massachusetts, spearheading the development of submersibles and remotely operated vehicles for marine research. He also founded the Deep Submergence Laboratory while he was there and was honored in 2009 with the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation’s lifetime achievement award. He is a professor at the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography and is the Director of the Institute for Archaeological Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography.
Ballard has 13 honorary degrees and six military awards; he served in the US Naval Reserve as a commander for 30 years.

Ballard is best known for his discovery of the Titanic in 1985 and the German warship Bismark in 1989. In 1992 Ballard explored Iron Bottom Sound off Guadalcanal, which holds the largest deep-water collection of sunken warships including the giant Japanese warship Kirishima. In 1993 Ballard explored the Lusitania’s wreck site using the ROV Jason as well as other research subs, confirming that the ship’s magazine remained intact and that the U-20’s torpedo penetrated a coalbunker, which ignited and exploded. More recently, in 2002, Ballard went in search of PT-109, commanded by John F. Kennedy in WWII. He has published 18 books, numerous scientific papers and a dozen articles in National Geographic.
The event is free and open to the public but tickets are required for admittance. Tickets are now available for students -- two issued per I.D. – and will be available to faculty, staff and the general public Thursday, Nov. 3, based on availability.

Distinguished Speaker Series tickets are available at the following locations and times: Eisenhower Auditorium, corner of Shortlidge and Eisenhower roads, weekdays 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; HUB-Robeson Center, on Pollock Road, weekdays 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Bryce Jordan Center, corner of University Drive and Curtin Road, weekdays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., all on the University Park campus; and the Penn State Downtown Theatre Center, 146 S. Allen St., State College, weekdays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturdays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

For more information about the Distinguished Speaker Series and the Student Programming Association, visit http://spa.psu.edu/events/dss.html.

Last Updated April 19, 2017