Sample Essay on Robert Ballard: The Passionate Underwater Explorer of the Century

One of the most interesting essay assignments is to write about R. Ballard – one of the most famous underwater explorers. But if you lack information or talent to do it yourself, this sample is your magic wand.

If there were no enthusiasts ready to explore, discover and research, many facts of the past would remain unknown. Luckily, every century gives birth to those, who risk their lives to show others the real world with its secrets. Some people may say that these days, it is pretty tough to find a person, whose main goal is to research and discover rather than earn. But when your hobby becomes the job of your life, earning for it is never a crime but praise.

‘I am an underwater explorer, not a treasure hunter…’, Robert Ballard once said and proved this by his deeds many times after that. Admit it, there are not so many deep-sea explorers, who seek historic discoveries but not the money. This is, perhaps, the brightest example of how people love what they do. Ballard is known around the world as the President of the Institute of Exploration, the Director of the Center for Ocean Exploration and the scientist emeritus from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. But people, like we are, love him not for the titles but for the exploration of the German battleship Bismarck, historic discoveries of the sunken Titanic, and hydrothermal vents.

It all started years ago, when a young soldier, who was called to an active duty during the Vietnam War, requested a transfer to the Navy to get a chance to train as a marine geologist better. Being assigned to one of research institutions, Ballard worked on underwater submersibles, developed Alvin, and worked as a liaison between the Naval Research Office and Woods Hole. After leaving the NAVY, he received PhD in geology and came back to Woods Hole to participate in various expeditions.

Enthusiasm and interest of a young man helped to discover hydrothermal vents at the Galapagos Islands. He became the first to observe ‘black smokers’, find new plants and animals living among the vents, and discover a new kind of ecosystem.

As his interest in marine geology grew, Ballard kept growing as an explorer, too. Today his name goes hand in hand with the expeditions to Titanic, Bismarck, Lusitania, Yorktown, etc. Robert Ballard, who celebrates his 75th birthday on the 30th of July, has conducted over 120 underwater expeditions. He is a pioneer of underwater archeology and many submarine technologies. To engage teenagers in technology and science, he also founded a distance education program, the JASON Project. Thousands of letters from students were a kind of a push into starting something new and letting others know more about the discovery of the Titanic wreck.

People like Robert Ballard are not just inventors or scientists. Their job becomes their life, in a good meaning of this word. They live, work, discover, and give others a chance to explore the world along with them.


  • Ballard, R. D. (1987). The Discovery of the Titanic. New York: Warner Books. 245.
  • Ballard, R.D., Ward, C. (2004). Deep-Water Archaeological Survey in the Black Sea; 2000 Season, The International Journal of Nautical Archaeology, 33.1: 2–13.
  • Ballard, Robert D. (1989). The Bismarck Found. National Geographic. Vol. 176 no. 5. pp. 622–637.
  • Campbell, J. (1987). Germany 1906–1922. In Sturton, Ian. Conway’s All the World’s Battleships: 1906 to the Present. London: Conway Maritime Press. 28–49.
  • Gannon, R. (1995). What Really Sank the Titanic. Popular Science: 54.
  • Hiebert, F. (2001). Black Sea Coastal Cultures: Trade and Interaction, Expedition 43: 11–20.
  • Sea Research Foundation (2011). About Robert Ballard. Retrieved 27 Apr 2012.
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Posted in Essay Sample, Writing Blog at July 16th, 2017.
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