NEWPORT - Famed undersea explorer Don Walsh, who made history in 1960 co-piloting a submersible dive to the ocean's greatest known depths, will deliver a special evening lecture at Oregon State University's Hatfield Marine Science Center on June 24 beginning at 7 p.m.
His lecture kicks off the fourth annual SeaFest celebration, which continues on Saturday.
In 1960, U.S. Navy Lieutenant Walsh and Swiss undersea explorer Jacques Piccard navigated an early generation submersible, the Bathyscaph Trieste, to the deepest point in the world's oceans. This was the Challenger Deep in the western Pacific, at a depth of 35,840 feet, still the world's record. Forty-five years later, more than 1,000 people have stood atop Mt. Everest, nearly as many have gone into space, yet only two men have ever been to the ocean's greatest depth.
Walsh will speak about his pioneering experiences over the past 40-plus years in ocean exploration. In the audience will be some of the new generation of undersea explorers - scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) hydrothermal vents research group at the Hatfield Marine Science Center.
"Recounting these early experiences of ocean exploration points out where we've been and how much we have yet to learn," said Stephen Hammond, leader of an ocean research program at NOAA's Pacific Marine Environmental Lab in Newport. Hammond also is acting director of NOAA's Ocean Exploration Program in Washington, D.C.
Following the Walsh lecture will be a reception and birthday cake-cutting in honor of the Hatfield Marine Science Center's 40th anniversary, which is being celebrated in 2005. It will be a reunion for former students, researchers and staff of the center, who are being invited back to Newport for the event.
The public is also invited to attend both the lecture and reception.
The Friday evening lecture launches the center's annual SeaFest celebration, which continues on Saturday with a day-long open house and community festival on the grounds of the Hatfield Marine Science Center from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
To learn more about SeaFest 2005, information can be found online at the OSU website: http://hmsc.oregonstate.edu/seafest/ or by calling 541-867-0212. Website information will be updated as activities are added to the schedule.