ONR Distinguished Lecture Series

ONR Distinguished Lecture Series (Special Edition):
"The Role of Deep Submergence in Naval Warfare—Past, Present and Future: Dr. Robert D. Ballard's 53-Year History with ONR"

Presented by:
Dr. Robert D. Ballard
President of the Ocean Exploration Trust;
Emeritus Scholar, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute;
Explorer-at-Large, National Geographic Society;
Principal Investigator, Ocean Exploration Cooperative Institute, Graduate School of Oceanography, University of Rhode Island

Among the most accomplished and well known of the world's deep-sea explorers, Dr. Robert Ballard is acclaimed for his historic discoveries of hydrothermal vents, the sunken R.M.S. Titanic, the German battleship Bismarck and numerous other contemporary and ancient shipwrecks around the world. During his long career, he has conducted more than 150 deep-sea expeditions using the latest in exploration technology.

Ballard has been a pioneer in the development of advanced deep-submergence and telepresence technology. Although his Ph.D. is in marine geology and geophysics, his scientific interests run the gamut from the volcanic, tectonic and hydrothermal processes of the Mid-Ocean Ridge to deep-sea archaeology and maritime history. Dr. Ballard also spends a great deal of his time involved in various educational outreach programs. In 2008, Ballard secured the E/V Nautilus, which has become his flagship for exploration, operated by the Ocean Exploration Trust and funded in part by NOAA’s Office of Ocean Exploration. Nautilus is connected by way of a high-bandwidth satellite link to the University of Rhode Island's Inner Space Center and from there to the world.

Ballard has received prestigious awards from the Explorers Club and the National Geographic Society—the Explorers Medal and the Hubbard Medal, respectively—as well as the Lindbergh Award. In 2003, President George W. Bush presented him with the National Endowment for the Humanities Medal in the Oval Office of the White House. He is currently a National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence.

Prior to serving in the U.S. Navy for 30 years, Ballard was trained as a combat infantry officer in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. This dual military background, coupled with his academic training in marine geology, has given him a unique perspective on the future of underwater warfare.

Event Details

When: Tuesday, January 21, 2020 2-3 p.m.

Office of Naval Research
Bobby Junker Executive Conference Center
14th Floor, One Liberty Center
875 North Randolph Street
Arlington, VA 22203

Only DoD civilians and/or military personnel displaying a valid CAC or ID card above the waist will be granted unescorted access to the building. All non-government, non-ONR contractors and other U.S. visitors need to arrange an escort into the building. Learn more about visiting ONR.

For building access questions or any questions regarding this event, please email Irina Pala.

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About Dr. Robert D. Ballard

Dr. Robert D. BallardBallard first focused on the development and use of deep submersibles. But in 1991, with funding from ONR, he shifted his focus to the development of tele-operated, unmanned vehicle systems to explore the complex terrain of the Mid-Ocean Ridge—where he made a series of major scientific breakthroughs that altered our understanding of the geology, biology and chemistry of the world’s oceans, followed by the discovery of numerous chapters of human history lost in the deep sea. Just last year, as the PI of a consortium of marine institutions, he was selected to join the Ocean Exploration Cooperative Institute to map and characterize America’s Exclusive Economic Zone.

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