david gallo ted talkThe Port Royal Sound Foundation will host its fourth annual Night on the Sound on Friday, October 20th. In years past, the foundation’s signature event has featured such distinguished guests as Philippe Cousteau, Robert Ballard and Jack Hanna. This year, American oceanographer and explorer David Gallo will be the guest speaker.


Dr. Gallo previously worked as the Director of Special Projects at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. He currently serves as Senior Advisor for Strategic Initiatives at the Center for Climate and Life of the Earth Institute at Columbia University.

“We are thrilled to have David Gallo as our guest speaker,” says Alicia Powell, Director of Development for the foundation. “David brings with him a wealth of knowledge about our oceans and will speak about the importance of protecting the pristine waters of the Port Royal Sound.”

For more than 25 years, David Gallo has been at the forefront of ocean exploration, participating in and being witness to the development of new technologies and scientific discoveries that shape our view of planet earth. He has been described by TED Conferences as “an enthusiastic ambassador between the sea and those of us on dry land,” and with more than 8 million views, his TED presentation “Underwater Astonishments” is among the top three TED Talks viewed to date.

Dr. Gallo received Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in geology from the State University of New York at Albany and a Doctorate degree in oceanography from the University of Rhode Island. In 1987 he joined Robert Ballard’s team at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution as Assistant Director of the Center for Marine Exploration.

David has participated in expeditions to all of the world’s oceans and was one of the first scientists to use a combination of robots and submarines to explore the deep seafloor. Most recently he co-led an expedition to create the first detailed and comprehensive map of the RMS Titanic and he co-led the successful international effort to locate the remains of Air France flight 447.  He is presently involved in planning an international expedition to locate and document the wreckage of Ernest Shackleton’s ship, HMS Endurance.

Gallo remains active in encouraging the development of new technologies for ocean exploration. He is a member of James Cameron’s Deep Ocean Task Force and the XPrize Ocean Advisory Board.

David is becoming increasingly outspoken about the relationship between humanity and the sea. He feels strongly that instead of taking the oceans for granted we need to recognize the oceans critical role in providing the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat. At the same time, Dr. Gallo feels that human activity has impacted the ocean on a global scale and with significant consequences. The oceans hold the clues to our past and the key to our future yet they remain mostly unexplored and poorly understood.

Dr. Gallo is personally committed to conveying the excitement and importance of ocean exploration to the public-at-large. He has lectured internationally to audiences ranging from children to CEOs with the goal of awakening the little bit of Jacques Cousteau and Jules Vernes that resides in each of us. He has given more than 10 TED and TEDx presentations and has appeared in numerous documentaries (Discovery Channel, History Channel, National Geographic) and has been featured on numerous televised news programs (Weather Channel, PBS Need to Know, MSNBC Ed Show, and NBC Today show).

In recognition of his role in exploration and communications David is the co-recipient of a Computerworld-Smithsonian Award. He is an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a National Fellow of The Explorers Club, and a recent recipient of the Lotus Club Distinguished Achievement Award in Science.

For more information about David Gallo, visit www.oceanexplorer.noaa.gov. To learn more about the Port Royal Sound Foundation and Night on the Sound, visit www.portroyalsoundfoundation.org