R.M.S. Titanic, the battleship Bismarck, the wreck of the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown and John F. Kennedy’s PT-109 were discovered by oceanographer Robert Ballard, who will present a lecture Thursday, Nov. 19, at 7 p.m. in Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania’s Haas Center for the Arts. The presentation, “Robert Ballard: Tales of an Ocean Explorer,” is part of BU’s Celebrity Artist Series.
Best known for his discovery of the sunken Titanic, Ballard has conducted more than 120 deep-sea expeditions using the latest in exploration technology. Ballard’s other discoveries include the Lusitania and vessels sunk during the Battle of Guadalcanal which are featured in his book, “The Lost Ships of Guadalcanal: Ghost Fleet of the South Pacific.” Other books he’s written or co-authored about his underwater adventures include “Return to Midway,” “Finding the Titanic” and “Graveyards of the Pacific: From Pearl Harbor to Bikini Island.”
President of the Institute for Exploration and director of the Institute for Archaeological Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island, Ballard attributes his early interest in underwater exploration to reading the novel “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.” While earning bachelor’s degrees in chemistry and geology from the University of California, Santa Barbara, he completed the U.S. Army’s ROTC program and, after graduation, received an officer’s commission in Army intelligence. He earned a master’s degree in geophysics from the University of Hawaii’s Institute of Geophysics, where he trained porpoises and whales.
Ballard founded the JASON Project, a distance education program designed to engage middle school students in science and technology, in response to the thousands of student letters he received following his discovery of the Titanic. His awards include the Explorers Club’s Explorers Medal, the National Geographic Society’s Hubbard Medal and the Lindbergh Award.
General admission for Ballard’s lecture is $19, and tickets can be purchased at the Haas Center box office Monday through Friday from noon to 4 p.m. Wednesday’s box office hours are extended to 7 p.m. when school is in session; on performance days, box office hours are noon to 8 p.m.
For more information or to purchase tickets, contact the box office at (570) 389-4409 or at www.bloomu.edu/cas.