PRESENTATIONS

BALTIC

Stockholm: Beauty by the Water.  Stockholm, founded in the 13th century, was under Danish control during the 15th century; was liberated by Gustav Vasa in the 16th century; and became a world power in the 17th Century.  Today, Stockholm offers many outstanding attractions for the visitor including beautiful waterways, bridges, sidewalk cafes, and great castles and museums.

Helsinki: The Enlightened City.  Helsinki was established as a trading town by King Gustav I of Sweden in 1550.  It endured tumultuousness times during the first half of the 20th century, but continued its steady development.  Learn why Helsinki is one of the most livable cities in the world, and why Finland’s achievements in education have other nations doing their homework.

Wonderful Copenhagen.  Copenhagen (population almost 2 million) was founded as a Viking fishing village in the 10th century.  It survived centuries of strife, plague, and two world wars.  The amusement park of Tivoli Gardens, outstanding museums, and one of the largest and oldest pedestrian shopping streets (the Strøget) make Copenhagen a beautiful and exciting destination.

Oslo: Jewel of the North.  Oslo, the economic and governmental center of Norway, has a growing population of over 700,000 with 1.7 million in the greater metropolitan area.  It was founded in 1040 AD and in the 15th and 16th centuries became an important trading center as part of the Kalmar Union with Denmark and Sweden. It is a compact city with an excellent public transportation system.  The city plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 95% from 1990 levels by 2030.  Explore the many museums including the Fram Museum of Polar Exploration, the Viking Ship Museum, the Norsk Folkemuseum, and the Kon Tiki Museum.  Explore the 14th century Akershus Fortress.  Stroll through the great parks like Vigeland Sculpture Park, or take a boat tour around the scenic Oslo Fjord.

The Viking Age.  From the late 8th to the mid-11th century Scandinavian explorers, warriors, merchants, and pirates raided, traded, explored and settled in wide areas of Europe, Asia and the North Atlantic.  During this period, commonly known as the “Viking Age”, the Norse used their famed long ships to travel as far east as Constantinople and the Volga River in Russia, and as far west as Iceland, Greenland, and North America.  This cultural Diaspora left its traces from Byzantium to Newfoundland.  What factors led to the rise and then the fall of the Vikings and what is their legacy today?

The Baltic: Oceanography, Marine Biology, and Fisheries.  The Baltic Sea is unique.  Many major rivers empty into the Baltic, resulting in a sea which is much less saline than most of the world’s ocean.  The fish fauna is a mixture of marine and freshwater species.  Human activities have greatly altered the ecology of the Baltic.  About one quarter of the Baltic’s seafloor is a dead zone.  Conservation efforts are underway.

Saint Petersburg: The First 200 Years.  This is the story of one of the world’s most magnificent cities.  It was founded in 1703 by Peter the Great and during the 18th and 19th centuries grew into the capital of a great empire and the largest nation on Earth.

Saint Petersburg: The Last 200 Years.  During the 19th century the Russian Empire saw the beginnings of what would later become a massive social upheaval.  In 1917 the city was at the heart of a new world-changing political revolution.  It survived a 20th century marked by social upheaval, famine, disease, and three devastating wars.  Today St Petersburg shines like a magnificent gem overlooking the Neva River and the Baltic Sea.

Saint Petersburg Today.  St Petersburg (population about 4.8 million) is one of the most beautiful and historic cities of Europe.  Beautiful canals and waterways have given it the name “The Venice of the North.”  Its many attractions include ornate palaces, incredible art museums, historical monuments, and magnificent architecture.

 

WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN

 

Rome: The Eternal City.  From a small village in the 7th Century BC Rome grew to become the center of a great empire, a focus of renaissance art and architecture, and finally the capital of a unified Italy.  Today, with numerous Parks, piazzas, fountains, museums, magnificent buildings of the former Empire, and great restaurants and shops – Rome is a fascinating and indeed Eternal City.

Florence: Birthplace of the Renaissance. Florence, established as a Roman outpost in 80 BC, survived floods and the plague, and to become a great crucible of the Renaissance.  Today, Florence is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with some of the most magnificent buildings and works of art of any city in the world. 

Marseille: Past and Present.  Learn how this city, founded in 600 BC as a Greek trading colony, became an important city in the Roman Empire, and grew to become a major modern commercial port.  Discover its numerous scenic and historic sites, and its excellent shops and restaurants.

Malta: Crossroads of the Mediterranean.  Malta has been inhabited since approximately 5900 BC.  Its location in the center of the Mediterranean has given it great strategic importance as a naval base.  Throughout history a succession of powers contested and ruled the islands.  The city of Valetta is now a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site offering magnificent Baroque architecture, great shopping opportunities, and fine restaurants. 

Gibraltar: Fortress between the Seas.  With its strategic location between the Mediterranean and Atlantic “The Rock” or “Pillars of Hercules” has a long, rich, and important place in world history.

Barcelona: The City of Gaudi.  With its rich history and cultural heritage, its unique architecture and art, its beautiful beaches, and its fine shops and restaurants – Barcelona shines as a gem of the Mediterranean.

Marine Life of the Mediterranean.  The Mediterranean Sea provides a wide range of habitats for a rich variety of marine species.  Since ancient times, people have harvested these plants and animals for food, medicine, and a variety of other uses.  Human activities now threaten this unique ecosystem; however, conservation efforts are underway.

The Barbary Pirates.  From the time of the crusades until the 19th century, pirates operating from North Africa raided European ships and coastal cities in the Western Mediterranean and as far away as Iceland.  Over several centuries more than a million Europeans were captured and sold into slavery in North Africa.  From 1606 to 1616 England lost 466 merchant ships to Barbary pirates.  Piracy along the Barbary Coast finally came to an end with the French conquest of Algiers in 1830.

Granada: A Rich History.  Lying in the beautiful foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Granada contains many examples of medieval architecture dating from the Moorish occupation (711 AD to 1492 AD).  The Alhambra, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a sprawling hilltop fortress complex which encompasses royal palaces, serene patios, and reflecting pools from the Nasrid dynasty, as well as beautiful fountains and gardens.  Monuments celebrate this city where Ferdinand and Isabella granted Christopher Columbus his mandate to explore the New World.

Pompeii and Herculaneum:  A Tale of Two Cities.  At 1 pm on or about October 17, AD 79, residents of Pompeii and the smaller seaside luxury resort of Herculaneum abandoned their daily tasks as nearby Mount Vesuvius erupted with a deafening roar.  Both cities were buried in about 20 meters of volcanic ash and thus preserved until now.  Today, excavations reveal amazing details of daily life, as well as the opulence of these two cities.  

 

EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN AND BLACK SEA

 

Rhodes:  The Island of the Knights.  Rhodes played a strategic role in the Eastern Mediterranean for more than 36 centuries.   At various times it came under control of Minoan, Mycenaean Greek, Dorian Greek, Persian, Classical Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Crusader, Ottoman, and Italian rule.  The island’s important role in history is reflected today by the many stunning archeological sites.  The Medieval Old Town of the City of Rhodes has been declared a World Heritage Site.

Athens: Cradle of Western Civilization.   Athens, with a recorded history spanning over 3,400 years, is regarded as the birthplace of democracy.  It had a huge cultural and political impact on the Western World.  Today, one can visit ancient archeological sites including the Acropolis and ancient Agora, as well as museums including the National Archeological Museum and the Acropolis Museum.  Watch the changing of the Guard at the Presidential Mansion and Parliament Building near Syntagma Square and then take a stroll down Ermou - the main shopping street.

 

Marine Biology of the Black Sea. The Black Sea is an enclosed fairly shallow sea with a unique environment.  It formerly supported a rich variety of plants and animals, but the ecosystem has been drastically altered by a variety of human impacts.  Nutrient enrichment has caused massive blooms of plankton ultimately resulting in oxygen-depleted areas unable to support fish and shellfish.

 

Troy: 4,000 Years of History. Troy is one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world.  Its extensive remains are the most significant demonstration of the first contact between the civilizations of Anatolia and the Mediterranean world.  Moreover, the siege of Troy by Spartan and Achaean warriors from Greece in the 13th or 12th century B.C., immortalized by Homer in the Iliad, has inspired great creative artists throughout the world ever since.

 

Venice: City of Water.  Learn how this early center of commerce, art, and music is dealing with both the huge growth in tourism and the threat of rising water levels.  Explore its main attractions and the reasons why it has been called “the most beautiful city built by man”. 

 

Game of Thrones: Dubrovnik through the Ages.  Dubrovnik served as the capital of the powerful Republic of Ragusa for 450 years, eventually became part of Yugoslavia, and now Croatia.  This beautiful ancient walled city is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

 

Ottomans: Rise and Fall of a Great Sea Power.  From the time of the crusades through the 19th century, European States were locked in a crucial contest with the Ottoman Empire to control the Mediterranean and Black Seas. Decisive clashes of naval forces often determined the shifts of power between these two civilizations.

 

Were Crete and Santorini the Center of an Ancient Superpower?  Europe’s first advanced civilization, the Minoans, emerged on Crete and Santorini more than 5,000 years ago.  They disappeared suddenly about 1450 BC after the volcanic eruption of Thera.  Considerable evidence now suggests that the Minoans were the source for the legend of Atlantis.

 

Ancient Shipwrecks and Sunken Cities: The Eastern Mediterranean and Black Sea.  The sea floor of the Mediterranean and Black Seas provides valuable clues about several ancient civilizations.  Modern technology allows underwater archeologists to locate and map shipwrecks and submerged cities and document the rise and fall of early civilizations.

 

Istanbul:  Vibrant Crossroad between Europe and Asia.  Istanbul, with a current population of over 14 million, was founded around 660 BC as Byzantium.  After its reestablishment as Constantinople in 330 AD, it served as the capital of the Roman, Byzantine, Latin, and Ottoman Empires.  The city's historic center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Highlights include Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, the Basilica Cistern, the Grand Bazaar and Topkapi Palace.  Across the city's natural harbor, the Golden Horn, lies the Beyoğlu district – the city’s commercial, cultural and entertainment center.

 

The Ancient City of Ephesus.  Humans inhabited Ephesus from the Stone Age until about 500 years ago.  For most of that time (about 1500 years) it was a thriving Greek city and its buildings and temples were among the wonders of the ancient world.  During the Roman Period Ephesus grew rapidly into one of the largest and most important centers of the Mediterranean – second only to Rome. Ephesus was also an important center for Early Christianity.  Today Ephesus remains as a well-preserved archeological site.  It includes a large Roman amphitheater, a gladiators' graveyard, and the famed Library of Celsus.

 

Rhodes.  The Medieval Old Town of the City of Rhodes has been declared a World Heritage Site and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe.  High rise hotels line the northern and eastern coastlines. Small villages and resorts dot the island's other shores.  Whether your interests are beaches, shopping, or history and ancient archeological sites, Rhodes offers an abundance of all.  Authentic Greece can be found in the hilly interior of the 50-mile-long island.

 

ATLANTIC

 

Marine Biology of the Bay of Biscay.  The Bay of Biscay is a vast inlet of the Atlantic Ocean bounded on the north and east by France and on the south by Spain.  It is one of Europe's last great wildernesses - a fertile marine habitat with a great variety and abundance of marine life.  Abundant plankton populations make it a rich feeding ground for young larvae of anchovy, sardine, and mackerel.  The Bay supports rich populations of fish, invertebrates, sea birds, and almost every whale and dolphin species found in the North Atlantic.  Recently, dolphins have mysteriously declined in numbers.  These and other species may be threatened by human activities, but protection measures are underway.

 

Henry the Navigator and West Africa.  In the 15th Century, Prince Henrique, Duke of Viseu saw the great opportunities for opening new Portuguese trade routes, especially in West Africa.  His expeditions and discoveries had profound consequences for the beginning of worldwide European exploration and trade.

 

Marine Biology of Portugal, the Canary Islands, and Morocco.  The waters and coasts of Portugal, the Canary Islands, and Morocco support abundant populations of fish, invertebrates, sea birds, and marine mammals.  Upwelling currents bring cold nutrient-rich waters from the depths to the surface.  The resulting blooms of plankton make it an ideal feeding ground for young larvae of anchovy, sardine, and mackerel.  Marine mammals and other species are threatened by human activities, but protection measures are underway.

 

Climate Change: The North Atlantic and Arctic.  Jack Hardy, author of the book “Climate Change: Causes, Effects, and Solutions”, describes how the earth’s climate has undergone natural cycles of warming and cooling over periods of tens of thousands of years.  Today however, especially at northern latitudes, the climate is warming at an unprecedented rate in response to human activities.

 

Lisbon: City of Light. Possibly the oldest city in Europe, Lisbon’s history includes Phoenician, Roman, Moorish, and Crusader periods.  Today, it serves as the political, economic, and cultural center of Portugal.  From hillsides that overlook the Rio Tejo, Lisbon offers gothic cathedrals, majestic monasteries and quaint museums as part of the sun-lit white cityscape.

 

Cadiz: City Built by Silver.  Founded by Phoenician traders, Cádiz is generally considered to be the oldest continuously-inhabited settlement in Europe.  From here Columbus sailed to the New World and Spanish treasure ships returned with unimaginable quantities of gold and silver.  The old town is characterized by narrow streets, connecting squares (plazas), city walls, beautiful beaches, and seafood restaurants. 

 

PACIFIC AND ASIA

 

The Tropical Pacific: Oceanography and Marine Ecology.  The Pacific Ocean covers almost 1/3 of the Earth’s surface, has over 20,000 Islands, and is surrounded by the volcanic “ring of fire”.   Ecosystems range from virtual deserts in open waters to some of the world’s richest systems in areas of upwelling currents or coral reefs.

 

 Captain Cook’s Secret Voyages: The South Pacific.  In 1768 the South Pacific remained a mysterious and unknown region with rumors of a “Great Southern Continent” with untold riches.  British Lieutenant James Cook discovered and charted many new islands, created a detailed chart of New Zealand, and was the first to map the east coast of Australia.  Cook’s first two voyages made a monumental contribution to Europe’s understanding of the Pacific and its people.

 

Captain Cook’s Secret Voyages: The North Pacific.   In July, 1776 British Captain James Cook set out to return to Tahiti and explore other areas of the South Pacific.  After accomplishing this, Cook revealed to his crew a secret and perhaps more important geographic target.  If located it would be a valuable prize for which all the European powers were competing. 

 

Strange and Dangerous Marine Creatures of South Asia.  Marine creatures of the Indian Ocean and SE Asia utilize unique physical adaptations and behaviors in the struggle for survival.  Many strange and unique life forms inhabit the sea surface, the water column, and the bottom down to thousands of meters.  Research will continue to reveal details of the life history of these creatures, and many new species will yet be discovered.

 

The Opium Wars: China’s Century of Humiliation.  The Opium Wars in the mid-19th century were a critical juncture in modern Chinese history. China lost both wars. The terms of its defeat were a bitter pill to swallow.  The lesson that Chinese students learn today about the Opium Wars is that China should never again let itself become weak, ‘backward,’ and vulnerable to other countries.

 

China and the Discovery of America.  The discovery of America by the Vikings and later by Columbus may have been superseded by much earlier Chinese expeditions.  Jack Hardy examines evidence that the Pacific Coast of America was explored by Chinese monks around 458 AD and again by the “Starfleet” of Admiral Zheng He around 1421.

 

CENTRAL AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN

 

The Panama Canal: Past, Present, and Future.  The potential for a shorter sea route between the Atlantic and Pacific through Panama was recognized several hundred years ago.  A failed French attempt was followed by American success in 1914.  Today, the canal is a vital artery of international trade, with nearly 14,000 ships travelling through every year.  It represents one of the greatest engineering achievements of all time.

 

Exploring the Underwater Caves (Cenotes) of Mexico.  Mexico houses the world’s most extensive network of underwater caves. Diving explorations are leading to new understandings of how these caves were formed and the important role they played in early Mayan Civilization. These ancient caves also contain very unusual life forms.  Exploration of these unique environments has only just begun.

 

Strange Creatures of the Caribbean Sea.  From the seahorse to the puffer fish, scorpion fish, or sea turtle, marine creatures of the Caribbean utilize unique physical adaptations and behaviors in the struggle for survival.

 

Mexico’s Pacific Marine Life.   The Pacific Coast of Mexico, spanning more than 16 degrees of latitude (over 1100 miles), includes a wide range of climatic conditions, ocean currents, and coastal geology.  These environments provide a rich variety of habitats for some of the most diverse and abundant communities of marine animals on Earth.  Thousands of species inhabit these waters, from tiny colorful tube worms to giant blue whales.  This talk describes just some of these creatures and the unique roles they play in the ecosystem.

Central America’s Pacific Marine Life.  The Pacific Coast of Central America, spanning about 1800 km north-south, includes many different marine environments.  These environments provide a rich variety of habitats which support some of the world’s most diverse and abundant communities of marine life. This talk describes some of these creatures and the unique roles they play in the marine ecosystems of Central America.

 

SOUTH AMERICA

 

19th Century Struggles for Independence in South America.  In the early 1800s numerous voices called for the liberation of South America from the colonial domination of Spain.  Venezuelan leader Simón Bolívar liberated and, for a time, ruled over a vast territory from the Argentine border to the Caribbean Sea.  Bolívar is viewed as a national hero in much of modern South America, along with José de San Martín, Francisco de Miranda and others.

 

Darwin in South America.  During the voyage of the British survey ship HMS Beagle a young Charles Darwin explored the geology and wildlife in many areas of South America, including the Galapagos Islands.  His observations in South America were crucial to his later formulation of the theory of evolution.

 

Amazon: World’s Greatest River.  The Amazon Drainage Basin occupies about 40% of South America - an area the size of the United States.  The Amazon River is the World’s greatest in length, navigability, and volume, carrying 20% of the Earth’s freshwater into the Atlantic Ocean.  Indigenous tribes have lived in the Amazon Basin for at least 20,000 years.  In the 16th to 18th centuries Europeans explored and settled Amazonia.  Following Brazil’s independence from Portugal in 1824, the river became increasingly important as a major highway for trade, growth, and development.  Today, large infrastructure and industrial projects compete with nature and conservation in this magnificent area.

 

Amazon: World’s Greatest Ecosystem.  The Amazon Basin contains the world’s largest tropical rainforest.  It is home to perhaps 30% of all the worlds’ species, including some of the most beautiful and exotic creatures known.  Human impacts, including climate change and deforestation, could lead to loss of the entire rainforest and most of its species within 40 years.  Brazil is greatly expanding the number and size of rainforest protected areas.  Controversy and conflict continues between conservationists, government, and indigenous people.

 

Brazil: A Brief History.  Indigenous tribes have lived in the Amazon Basin for at least 20,000 years.  In the 16th to 18th centuries Europeans explored and settled in Brazil.  Following independence from Portugal in 1824, Brazil has grown into the largest economy of South America and the eighth largest in the world.

 

The Falkland Islands: Political and Natural History.  These Islands were uninhabited when discovered by Europeans.  Ever since they have been a matter of controversy – being claimed, at different times, by the French, British, Spaniards and Argentines.  The islands are home to an abundant wildlife especially birds, fish, and marine mammals.

 

Cape Horn and the Strait of Magellan: A Maritime History.  In 1520 Ferdinand Magellan became the first European to transit the treacherous strait connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.  Later explorers discovered the southernmost tip of South America– Cape Horn.  From the 18th to the early 20th centuries clipper ships carried much of the world's trade along this route.

 

The Natural History of Patagonia.  Patagonia, at the southern end of South America, is shared by Argentina and Chile.  It has been sparsely populated by humans for at least 12,000 years and was explored by Europeans in the early 16th century.  It diverse landscape is home to an abundant flora and fauna including many rather unusual species.  Today, its economy is based primarily on livestock, tourism, and petroleum.

 

MIDDLE EAST AND SOUTH ASIA

 

Sinbad:  Ancient Arab Seafaring in the Indian Ocean and Beyond.  Maritime trade between the Middle East and India began in the 3rd millennium BC and in flourished in Greco-Roman Times.  By the 8th century AD Arabs were regularly sailing to and trading with China.  However, after the 878 AD Chinese rebellion ships from West and East generally met in Southeast Asia to trade.  After 1498 Arab trade with the Far East declined as European ships began to dominate trade in the Indian Ocean and Far East.

 

Marine Life and Fisheries of the Red Sea.  The Red Sea Environment is characterized by low rainfall and runoff leading to clear waters.  Important coastal ecosystems include mangroves, coral reefs, and seagrass beds.  Sea turtles, marine mammals and numerous fish species are abundant.  Commercial fishing in the Red Sea brings in more than $130 million dollars U.S. per year.  The economic and biologic value of these marine communities is becoming increasingly recognized and protected. 

 

Strange Creatures of the Red Sea.  Marine creatures of the Red Sea utilize unique physical adaptations and behaviors in the struggle for survival.  Many strange and unique life forms inhabit the sea surface, the water column, and the bottom down to thousands of meters.  Research will continue to reveal details of the life history of these creatures, and many new species will yet be discovered.

 

ALASKA

 

Shrinking Glaciers and Threatened Wildlife:  Climate Change in Alaska and the Arctic.  The world’s climate undergoes natural cycles of warming and cooling over periods of tens of thousands of years. Human activities have almost doubled the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere over the past 160 years. The rapid rate of warming during the past 100 years far exceeds that of any period in the Earth’s history. Alaska and the Arctic are warming twice as fast as the Earth as a whole.  Decreases in arctic ice cover, glacier mass, permafrost, and flora and fauna are dramatic.  Long-term damage can be mitigated if a variety of actions are undertaken very soon.

 

Charismatic Mega-Fauna: Marine Mammals of Alaska.  Alaskan waters support at least 70 species of marine mammals.  They include Cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises), Pinnipeds (seals, sea lions, and walrus), and Fissipeds (polar bears, and sea otters).  Populations often number in the tens of thousands for Cetaceans and hundreds of thousands for Pinnipeds. Populations are being monitored closely with an eye to long term sustainability.

 

Bears of Alaska.  Black bears, brown bears, and polar bears each have their own unique, but sometimes overlapping habitats and ranges. Encounters between bears and humans (both positive and lethal) are on the rise. Conservation of bears (especially polar bears) is a contested political issue in Alaska.  In general, bear populations in Alaska continue to thrive.

 

Danger and Dollars:  Alaska’s Commercial Fisheries.  Alaska supports one of the most productive commercial fishing economies in the world.  The most economically important fisheries include various species of salmon, ground-fish, and crab.  Commercial fishing in Alaska is considered the deadliest occupation in the United States with a mortality rate 26 times the national average.  New safety regulations and training are beginning to reduce the dangers of this commercial fishery.

 

 GENERAL ENRICHMENT

 

Tales from My Years Exploring the Underwater World.  Dr. Jack Hardy began exploring the underwater world at age 14.  In this talk Jack describes his many experiences as a diver, underwater photographer, ocean explorer, and award-winning globally-recognized marine research scientist.

 

Pirates:  Ancient Egypt to Modern Somalia.  Since the beginning of sea travel and maritime trade pirates have roamed the seven seas.  Piracy thrived in the Mediterranean in ancient times, in the Caribbean in the 17th and 18th centuries, and in Somalia in the 21st century.  What are the common factors which lead to the emergence and success of piracy?   

 

The Incredible Mangrove.  Mangroves are terrestrial plants with unique adaptations allowing them to thrive in saltwater.  They stabilize coastlines, provide a habitat for a rich diversity of species, and have many direct human uses. 

 

Amelia Earhart: Mystery Solved?  At a young age Amelia Earhart set many records for long distance flights and pioneered the place for women in aviation.  Her disappearance in 1937, during her attempted around-the-world flight, has remained one of the greatest mysteries of the 20th Century.  New evidence now suggests some surprising answers to this mystery.

 

Decorative Ironwork: Myriad Uses and Limitless Designs.  From the middle-ages to today the use of ornamental ironwork in architecture evolved into numerous applications and exquisitely beautiful and unique designs.

 

Who Discovered America?  For millions of years humans inhabited Africa, Asia, and Europe, but were absent in the Americas.  There are many theories about who first “discovered” America.  In addition to Christopher Columbus, research now reveals there may have been many who came before. 

 

Wildlife of the Mississippi Delta.  Wildlife, from exotic birds to crocodiles, exists outside the city of New Orleans in the delta of the great river that has been called the “Nile of the new world.”

 

Daredevils: Underwater Longer and Deeper.  From ancient Greeks to modern deep-sea robots, humans have dared to risk their lives to salvage treasure, explore and research marine life, and wage war in the underwater world.  This lecture traces the historical development of technologies which have allowed humans to dive deeper and stay down longer in the "silent world".

 

Sea Monsters: Imaginary or Real?  Tales of sea monsters appear very early in recorded human history and continue to the present day.  Some of the creatures described bear a striking resemblance to fossilized specimens believed to be long extinct.  Modern deep-sea explorations are uncovering some very strange creatures which still live today.

 

Global Greenhouse Warming: What We Know and Don’t Know.  John Hardy, author of the authoritative book “Climate Change: Causes, Effects, and Solutions” presents evidence that the earth’s climate is already warming and will continue to warm in response to human activities.  Recent research is narrowing the uncertainty surrounding the magnitude of this change and the resultant effects on ecosystems and humans.

 

The Amazing Coral Reef.  Coral reefs are the ocean’s most diverse ecosystems.  Individual coral animals containing symbiotic algae grow into unique colonies.   Many colonies then combine to form several characteristic large reef structures.