Wednesday, October 05, 2005


Titanic discoverer to speak at National Maritime Museum

October 03, 2005

Norfolk, Va. - Dr. Robert Ballard-explorer, author, television producer, scientist, naval officer, educator, and Titanic discoverer-will be the keynote speaker on Friday, November 18, at 9 a.m. during the first ever Maritime Heritage Education Conference to be held at The National Maritime Center, November 18-20, 2005.

Ballard is world-famous for his discovery of the Titanic shipwreck, the German battleship Bismarck, the lost fleet of Guadalcanal, the U.S. aircraft carrier Yorktown (sunk in the World War II Battle of the Midway), and most recently John F. Kennedy’s boat, PT-109. A renowned scientist and explorer, he is the author of 16 books. Over the last 30 years, he has organized and conducted more than 100 deep-sea expeditions and has spent more time underwater than any other scientist in the world. Currently, Ballard heads up the Jason Project, a hands-on, interactive science education program for elementary school children. Ballard’s presentation is included in the conference registration fee.

Unique maritime heritage to link conference offeringsThe sharing of maritime heritage education partnerships, programs, and products and their linkages to science and conservation will be the focus of the conference, which is expected to be attended by more than 200 formal andinformal educators. The event is sponsored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Sanctuary Program, the National Park Service, The National Maritime Center, the Hampton Roads Naval Museum and the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation. Other partners include the JASON Foundation, the American Sail Training Association, the National Council for Social Studies, the PAST Foundation, and The Mariners’ Museum.

During the three-day event, participants from all over the country will hear guest plenary speakers including keynote speaker Dr. Robert Ballard. In addition, attendees will learn from educational sessions, and participate in social gatherings. Maritime heritage topics for the conference will include lighthouses/lifesaving stations, whaling and fishing heritage, native canoe cultures shipping and port heritage, shipboard education, and shipwrecks and other submerged sites.

The registration fee for the conference is $135, which includes all sessions, reception at The National Maritime Center on Thursday, November 17; evening field trip to The Mariners’ Museum on Friday, November 18; and an evening dinner cruise on the Spirit of Norfolk to view the Grand Illumination of the Harbor on Saturday, November 19. Hotel rooms with a special conference rate have been reserved at The Tazewell Hotel & Suites, the James Madison Clarion Hotel, and the Courtyard Marriott. Please visit for details.

For more information about the first ever Maritime Heritage Education Conference, please call (757) 664-1019 or visit


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