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Explorer Ballard Appointed To UCSB Geology Department

Friday, February 7, 2003 - 16:00
Santa Barbara, CA

Renowned marine scientist and underwater explorer Robert D. Ballard has been appointed as an adjunct professor of geological sciences at the University of California, Santa Barbara in recognition of his leadership in marine geology and science education.

"Bob's reputation as an adventurer and an explorer is well known, but equally important is his dedication to education," said Chancellor Henry T. Yang. "This appointment honors and recognizes his dynamic and creative leadership in marine geology and science education. We are extremely pleased that one of our very distinguished graduates has now honored us by becoming a part of our faculty."

A UC Santa Barbara alumnus, Ballard is best known for discovering the location of the Titanic and the German battleship Bismarck, and for founding the JASON Project, a national K-12 outreach program aimed at attracting young people to science.

This year's JASON Project is an exploration of the Santa Barbara Channel Islands.

Students in fourth through ninth grades from across the country are communicating in real-time audio-video with researchers on land and under the waters of the Santa Barbara Channel.

UCSB, internationally recognized in ocean science, is a major partner in helping to bring JASON to Santa Barbara. UCSB scientists are participating in the project and helped to prepare curricula and a variety of teaching activities for the two week program.

Ballard is the founder and head of the Institute for Exploration at Mystic Marinelife Aquarium in Connecticut.

One of Ballard?s recent passions is the new field of deep-ocean archaeology utilizing such evolving technology as advanced mapping and imaging systems, underwater robotics, and manned submersibles.

The well-known oceanographer graduated from UC Santa Barbara in 1965 with degrees in geology and chemistry, and has maintained active involvement over the years with a number of UCSB geology faculty members.

Adjunct faculty appointments at UCSB are seldom made, and only to distinguished scholars who will contribute significantly to the university?s teaching, research and community service missions.

"Ballard's appointment o the faculty elevates UCSB's already eminent program in ocean scient to new heights both in research and in outreach," said Martin Moskovits, dean of science.