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Oceanographer Ballard Exits Mystic Aquarium After 15 Years

Inst. for Exploration and Inst. for Archaeological Oceanography
Robert Ballard.
Ballard intends to continue to work closely with the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and Connecticut College.

Oceanographer Robert Ballard has ended his 15-year relationship with Mystic Aquarium that exhibited his discoveries of wrecks including John F. Kennedy's PT-109 and the Titanic.

Ballard said Monday his work with his Ocean Exploration Trust and the Center for Ocean Exploration at the University of Rhode Island are taking up much of his time.

The Day of New London reports that the 72-year-old Ballard said he had "a great run" at the aquarium.

Ballard began at the aquarium in 2000, and helped it obtain state funding for a major expansion and renovation. Ballard agreed to stay for ten years.

Aquarium President Stephen Coan said Ballard's departure is bittersweet after working closely with him for 20 years. He said the aquarium will continue to feature Ballard's exhibits and expeditions.

Ballard is one of the largest contributors to world exploration. His legendary discovery of the Titanic, along with his efforts in the Ocean Exploration Center, makes him pivotal in deep ocean archeology. He spent his time at Mystic Aquarium establishing a new field of ocean archeology and expanding center's coverage of information. He is also a founder of the Ocean Exploration Trust, and continues to work there.

In 2011, Ballard appeared on WNPR's Where We Live to talk about the exploration of a shipwreck off the coast of Turkey. Listen to the segment below:

Ballard also appeared on Where We Live in 2012 when he was helping to launch a Titanic exhibit at Mystic Aquarium. Listen to the segment below:

According to The Day, Ballard intends to continue to work closely with the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and Connecticut College, and will explore marine sanctuaries in U.S. waters. He'll continue his magazine and television work with National Geographic and "NOVA," and educational efforts through the JASON project and other outlets.

This report includes information from The Associated Press.

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