Among the most accomplished and well known of the world's deep-sea explorers, Dr. Robert Ballard is best known 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.
Dr. 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, Dr. Ballard secured the E/V Nautilus, which has become his flag-ship 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.
He 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.
University of California, Santa Barbara, B.S. Physical Science, Majors: Chemistry/Geology; Minors: Physics/Math;
University of Hawaii, Graduate School in Oceanography;
University of Southern California, Graduate School in Marine Geology; University of Rhode Island, Graduate School in Oceanography. Ph.D. Marine Geology and Geophysics Ph.D. in Marine Geology and Geophysics
"As a child I was always curious about things and I was fortunate enough not to have that passion extinguished as I grew up. E/V Nautilus and the Ocean Exploration Trust give me the opportunity to pour fuel on the flames of the public's curiosity to help keep it alive for them."