URI web chat with marine explorer Robert Ballard Feb. 28

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Marine explorer Robert Ballard to discuss expeditions, shipwrecks, Titanic during URI web chat, Feb. 28

KINGSTON, R.I. – February 14, 2007 – Marine explorer Robert Ballard, professor of oceanography at the University of Rhode Island, will answer questions about his expeditions in search of shipwrecks and unique features in the world’s oceans during a URI online chat on Wednesday, Feb. 28 at 1 p.m.

Best known for his 1985 discovery of the resting place of the Titanic, Ballard has also succeeded in finding numerous other significant shipwrecks, including the patrol ship PT-109 piloted by John F. Kennedy, the German battleship Bismarck, the lost fleet of Guadalcanal, and the American aircraft carrier Yorktown, sunk in the Battle of Midway. He has conducted more than 100 deep-sea expeditions using both manned and unmanned vehicles.

A 1974 alumnus of URI’s Graduate School of Oceanography, Ballard founded the University’s Institute for Archaeological Oceanography in 2003, the first academic program to combine the fields of oceanography, ocean engineering, archaeology and maritime history. He is also president of the Institute for Exploration in Mystic, Conn., an explorer-in-residence at the National Geographic Society, and founder of the JASON Project, which uses satellite technology to allow schoolchildren to accompany him from afar on his undersea explorations.

A service of the URI Division of University Advancement’s electronic communications program, online chats are free and open to the public and are accessible through the URI website.

To enter the chat, go http://advance.uri.edu/chats for instructions. Participants may submit questions in advance, but the chat will not begin until the scheduled date and time. Thirty minutes is the total time allotted for the chat. A full transcript will be posted to the University’s website once the chat has been completed. Questions about web chats should be directed to the URI Publications Office at 401-874-2075.

URI’s online chats, which began in September 2004, have featured question-and-answer sessions with such alumni as Tom Mulligan, Los Angeles Times senior correspondent discussing the Iraq war, and Academy Award-winning filmmaker Ross Kaufman talking about the making of Born into Brothels, as well as with URI administrators, faculty and coaches.

The chats are made possible through the cooperation of the URI Athletics Department and College Sports Online, hosts of the GoRhody.com web site.