National Geographic Events

NGLive!

Adventures in Deep Sea Exploration

  • Date
    December 4, 2012
  • Time 10:00 a.m.
  • Location Toronto, ON
  • Price $8 per student, one complimentary supervisor ticket with every 15 student tickets purchased.

Past Event

Photo: Submersible and surface ship
An ROV (Remote Operated Vehicle) descends beneath the waves on one of Robert Ballard’s expeditions.

Photograph by Randy Olsen

Photo: Robert Ballard

Dr. Robert Ballard

Photograph by Mark Thiessen

“I’m going to take you on a trip to 72 percent of our planet—so buckle up.” —Robert Ballard

As a teenager, Robert Ballard dreamed of roaming the seas in an underwater vessel, like his hero, the fictional Captain Nemo of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. While still in high school, he interned on an oceanic research vessel that nearly capsized when hit by a rogue wave. Far from being afraid, Ballard was thrilled. He decided then it was his destiny to devote his life to exploration beneath the waves.

Since then, Ballard has led more than one hundred expeditions into our planet’s deep ocean realm, resulting in a series of momentous discoveries—from hydrothermal vents in the Galápagos Rift, to submarine volcanoes on the Pacific Rise, to the most legendary of all shipwrecks, the Titanic. For almost forty years, this National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence has been coaxing secrets from the world’s oceans. Most famous for his investigations of lost ships—from ancient Phoenician trading vessels to World War II warships—he considers his most important discoveries to have been scientific, such as his discovery of amazing new life-forms thriving on chemosynthesis in the extreme temperatures of the deep-sea hydrothermal vents.

Bringing his career full circle, Ballard now spearheads the voyages of the Nautilus—named for Captain Nemo’s underwater craft—carrying out open-ended voyages of ocean exploration and sharing startling finds with the world through live streaming video. Acclaimed as one of the world’s most passionate advocates for ocean exploration, Ballard conceived of an international network of experts, working from remote command centers, who can serve as a scientific rapid response team to capitalize on surprise discoveries. Don’t miss this great explorer for a look back at his major discoveries, and a look ahead to the future of exploration in our seas—a realm which, as Ballard likes to remind us, we know less about than the moon.

Recommended for grades 4–8. Curriculum connections: Exploration, Geology, Oceans, Technology, Ancient Civilization

Return to the Student Matinees in Toronto main page.

View a page of resources for educators.

Watch a video of Robert Ballard’s TED talk explaining the importance of ocean exploration:

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