Open VISIONS Forum lecture series: "The Future of Our Oceans"


Dr. Stephen M. Coan, President & CEO, Sea Research Foundation
and Dr. Robert Ballard (via Skype), discoverer of the Titanic
8 p.m., Monday, April 23, 2012
Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts

Image: R BallardOceanic exploration and research comes to the forefront when Dr. Robert Ballard, one of the world's leading authorities on deep sea exploring, joins Dr. Stephen M. Coan, the president and CEO of Sea Research Foundation, the parent organization of Mystic Aquarium, as part of Fairfield University's Open VISIONS Forum lecture series. The event will be held at the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts, at 8 p.m. on Monday, April 23, 2012. Dr. Robert D. Ballard, who will appear live-via-Skype internet broadcast, is best known for his discovery of the legendary Titanic and underwater explorations of the Bismarck, Lusitania, and Britannic. Dr. Stephen M. Coan is president and chief executive officer of Sea Research Foundation, Inc., the non-profit organization which operates Mystic Aquarium, Institute for Exploration and Immersion Learning, in Mystic, Connecticut. Following Dr. Coan's and Dr. Ballard's presentations, there will be an informal conversation and discussion with OVF moderator Professor Philip Eliasoph and Fairfield University faculty members Dr. Diane J. Brousseau, Professor of Biology, and Dr. Brian G. Walker, Associate Professor of Biology and chair of the department. Open VISIONS Forum is presented with the support of Venü magazine. Single tickets are $45.

"We are very fortunate to have Drs. Coan and Ballard as part of the Open VISIONS Forum lecture series," said Dr. Diane Brousseau. "Dr. Ballard's many contributions in the field of ocean science are recognized worldwide. Their pioneering efforts to bring the most recent discoveries in oceanography into the classroom serve as a model for science education."

"Stories of the exploration of undersea marine life and the wrecks put there by man have fascinated people around the world decades, myself included," added Dr. Brian Walker. "We are fortunate to have these two exciting experts from the worlds of oceanic exploration and education join us at Fairfield University."

Dr. Robert D. Ballard has long been associated with the National Geographic Society and is credited with the underwater discovery in 1985 of the RMS Titanic, the ill-fated British passenger liner that sank in the North Atlantic Ocean in 1912. He is also one of the world's foremost oceanographers and has for many years used submersibles to explore the hidden features of the deep ocean. His 1997 bestselling book, "Lost Liners," told the story of the great transatlantic liners through memorable wrecks he has visited. Robert Ballard has also hosted National Geographic Television's "Explorer" program and acted as a special adviser on Stephan Spielberg's futuristic "Sea Quest" television show. Each year, Dr. Ballard takes thousands of schoolchildren on an interactive expedition through the innovative JASON Project. He is also the president of the Sea Research Foundation's Institute for Exploration at Mystic Aquarium. 

Image: Stephen CoanDr. Stephen M. Coan has been an officer of Sea Research Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization which operates Mystic Aquarium, Institute for Exploration and Immersion Learning, since 2001. He was appointed chief operating officer in 2004, launching an organizational turnaround, and became president and CEO in 2006. He has since raised more than $20 million in private and public funds to bring Mystic Aquarium to the forefront of American aquariums. His reorganization, refinancing and rebranding programs under the Sea Research umbrella have enabled the organization to advance its mission nationally and internationally. Dr. Coan is also chief executive officer of The JASON Project, an internationally acclaimed science program for classroom students, also managed by Sea Research Foundation in partnership with the National Geographic Society. Prior to joining Sea Research Foundation, Dr. Coan was the chief education officer of the JASON Foundation for Education, now known as The JASON Project. He has served as executive director of two educational organizations and held faculty appointments at Tufts University, Bentley College and Cambridge College. He is also a trustee of the Pine Point School, police commissioner in the town of Stonington, Conn., a trustee of the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation in Baltimore, Md., and a founding trustee of the North American Marine Environment Protection Association. Dr. Coan earned his bachelor's degree from Brandeis University and both a Masters in Management degree and a doctorate in social policy from the Heller Graduate School at Brandeis. He has served as a youth minister and mentor to at-risk youth for many years.

Tickets are available through the Quick Center Box Office: (203) 254-4010, or toll-free 1-877-ARTS-396 (1-877-278-7396). Tickets can also be purchased online at http://www.fairfield.edu/quick.

The Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts is located on the campus of Fairfield University at 1073 North Benson Road in Fairfield, Connecticut. Entrance to the Quick Center is through the Barlow Road gate at 200 Barlow Road. Free, secure parking is available. Access for people with disabilities is available throughout the Quick Center for audience members and performers. Hearing amplification devices are available upon request at the Box Office. Fairfield University is located off exit 22 of Interstate-95. For further information and directions, call (203) 254-4010 or 1-877-278-7396, or visit http://www.fairfield.edu/quick.

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Media Contact: Mike Horyczun, (203) 254-4000 ext. 2647, mhoryczun@fairfield.edu

Posted on April 12, 2012

Vol. 44, No. 264