GIE+EXPO 2018 began Wednesday, Oct. 17, and included two keynote addresses by Dr. Robert Ballard, the undersea explorer who discovered the Titanic wreckage. Ballard conducted a morning keynote for dealers and an afternoon keynote for landscape professionals. During the sessions, Ballard shared stories of his undersea exploits and the exploration of the ocean floor.

Ballard pointed out that 95% of Earth’s population lives on less than 5% of the planet, and he shared tales of the efforts being made to further the understanding of our planet’s oceans.

He also detailed efforts being made to explore moons of Jupiter and Saturn using knowledge gained from discoveries made deep within Earth’s oceans.

One of the greatest undersea explorers of our times, Dr. Ballard is best known for his discovery of the RMS Titanic in 1985, more than 70 years after it sank. He has conducted more than 140 deep sea expeditions, including the first manned exploration of the Mid-Ocean Ridge, and is credited with discovering many key chapters of human history, such as the German battleship Bismarck and President John F. Kennedy’s PT-109. Dr. Ballard’s innovative use of robotic rovers enables exploration of the 70 percent of our planet that lies under the sea.

Ballard said that one of his goals is to motivate the next generation to be excited about deep-sea exploration, to study harder, and ask questions.

The dealer keynote was sponsored by Bob-Cat Mowers and Stihl, while the landscape contractor keynote was sponsored by John Deere.

For those interested in learning more about Dr. Ballard and his ongoing research – and asking questions – Ballard will be broadcasting live from his ship, the Nautilus, Nov. 3-15, 2018, at Nautiluslive.org.

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