Take a look at humanity's age-old fascination with the sea in this book by oceanographer and Society Explorer-in-Residence Dr. Robert Ballard. The discoverer of the Titanic weaves his experiences as a pioneer in modern deep-sea exploration with vivid accounts of history's greatest sailing voyages.
Lively text and specially commissioned illustrations capture the irresistible lure of the sea.
Best known for his 1985 discovery of the Titanic, Robert D. Ballard has tracked down many significant shipwrecks, including the German battleship Bismarck, the lost fleet of Guadalcanal, the U.S. aircraft carrier Yorktown, and John F. Kennedy's boat, PT-109..
He has conducted more than a hundred deep-sea expeditions, using both manned and unmanned vehicles. His 1977 expedition in the Galápagos Rift found hydrothermal vents in the seafloor, along with their exotic ecosystems, a major scientific discovery.
Born June 30, 1942, in Wichita, Kansas, Ballard grew up in San Diego. "I grew up wanting to be Captain Nemo from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea," he said. He has a Ph.D. in marine geology and geophysics from the University of Rhode Island, where he is a full-time faculty member. He spent 30 years at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, where he helped develop manned submersibles and remotely operated vehicles for marine research. He also developed telecommunications technology to create "telepresence" for his JASON Project, which allows hundreds of thousands of schoolchildren to accompany him from afar on undersea explorations around the globe.
Ballard has 13 honorary degrees and 6 military awards and is a commander in the U.S. Naval Reserve. He has published 18 books, numerous scientific papers and a dozen articles in National Geographic magazine. Ballard also has been featured in several National Geographic television programs, including the record-breaking Secrets of the Titanic.
Ballard's most recent discoveries include the Mediterranean Sea finds of sunken remains of ships along ancient trade routes (1997), two ancient Phoenician ships off Israel, the oldest shipwrecks ever found in deep water (1999), and four 1,500-year-old wooden shipsone almost perfectly preservedin the Black Sea (2000). Ballard is continuing his Black Sea project, which seeks evidence of a great floodpossibly linked to Noah's Arkthat may have struck the region thousands of years ago.