Explorer who discovered Titanic wreckage to give presentation at USM

Explorer who discovered Titanic wreckage to give presentation at USM
Oceanographer Robert Ballard is best known for finding the Titanic in 1985. But he's made a number of other historic discoveries in oceans around the world. We caught up with him at the USM Marine Education Center at the Port of Gulfport to talk about his remarkable career.

HATTIESBURG, MS (WLOX) - The man best known for discovering the wreckage of the RMS Titanic will speak at University of Southern Mississippi next week.

A team led by Robert Ballard explored the RMS Titanic wreckage more than 100 years after it struck an iceberg and sunk.
A team led by Robert Ballard explored the RMS Titanic wreckage more than 100 years after it struck an iceberg and sunk. (Photo source: NOAA/Institute for Exploration/University of Rhode Island (NOAA/IFE/URI).)

Famed underwater archaeologist and oceanographer Robert Ballard will be the special guest presented for the spring semester’s final University Forum.

Ballard discovered and explored the sunken Titanic in 1985. The famous and ill-fated passenger liner colliding with an iceberg on April 14, 1912, on its maiden voyage across the North Atlantic. More than 1,500 passengers lost their lives.

Ballard was also part of other underwater expeditions involving the British ship Lusitania, whose sinking led to the United States entering World War I, as well as the USS Yorktown, which was sunk during the Battle of Midway in World War II.

Robert Ballard will give a free presentation April 16 at USM titled "Finding the Titanic and Other Tales of the Sea."
Robert Ballard will give a free presentation April 16 at USM titled "Finding the Titanic and Other Tales of the Sea." (Photo source: USM)

Additionally, Ballard has explored the German battleship Bismarck and PT-109, the boat piloted by John F. Kennedy.

“Bob Ballard is a modern-day adventurer, an undersea Indiana Jones, whose explorations remind us that we should not ignore the part of history that lies at the bottom of the ocean,” said Dr. Andrew Haley, director of USM’s University Forum.

“His discovery of the remains of the Titanic forced us to grapple with the limits of technology, even as it demonstrated the power of science, math, and engineering to overcome even the most daunting hurdles.”

Ballard will present "Finding the Titanic and Other Tales of the Sea" on Tuesday, April 16, at 6:30 p.m. in the Mannoni Performing Arts Center on USM's Hattiesburg campus. However, a live viewing of the presentation will also be shown at USM's Gulf Park campus in Long Beach in room 316 at Hardy Hall.

The presentation is open to the public and admission is free.

To read more about Ballard and his presentation, visit USM’s website HERE.

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