Ocean engineer and marine explorer Martin Bowen has been participating in deep-sea expeditions for twenty-five years, including twelve years with famed marine scientist Dr. Robert Ballard. He is currently a senior designer and operator of unmanned underwater robots for the Deep Submergence Laboratory of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, a private, nonprofit research facility dedicated to the study of all aspects of marine science and to the education of marine scientists. With staff and students numbering about 1,000, it is the largest independent oceanographic research institution in the U.S.
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Among the dozen shipwrecks Bowen has explored are the RMS Titanic, the Lusitania, the Bismarck and vessels lost in Guadalcanal. Over the course of his distinguished career, he has participated in over fifty marine operations in vessels hailing from the U.S., the U.K., Ecuador, Canada, the Bahamas, Japan, Italy, Spain, Bulgaria, Mexico, Poland, and the Soviet Union. He has also helped to design, build and operate various robotic vehicle systems used to provide film for documentaries by National Geographic, Turner Broadcasting, Discovery and A&E networks.
In 1985, Bowen was underwater photographer for the discovery expedition to RMS Titanic. The following year, he made six dives to the wreck inside a three-person, submersible vehicle named Alvin to a depth of two and-a-half miles. The fourth person to view the ship up-close since its loss in 1912, he was also the first diver to pilot a robot camera system, Jason Jr., from inside Alvin and down Titanic's grand staircase.
He has lectured at dozens of colleges and universities, as well as for many corporate, association, and civic events. His diverse list of past lecture sponsors includes the University of Tennessee, IBM Corporation, the American Association of University Women, General Electric Corp., AT&T Bell Laboratories, S.U.N.Y. at Syracuse, Gillette Company, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the American Society for Metals & Metallurgists, Club Med, Inc., Williams College, and Mansfield University.
In his presentation, he narrates a 45-minute slide show and 10-minute video, followed by a question and answer session that goes as longs as the sponsor wishes. He can also show a soundless background video during the question and answer session that allows those uninterested in particular questions to escape into the underwater scenery. The 10-minute video shows early footage of the Titanic, submersibles that helped the explorers find the wreck, research vessels that were used, and close-up color images of the wreck itself. The soundless video is never-before-published underwater color footage of the Alvin submersible and the Jason Jr. robot investigating the wreck.
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