Best known for his 1985 discovery of the TITANIC, Dr. Robert Ballard has succeeded in tracking down numerous other significant shipwrecks, including the German battleship BISMARCK, the lost fleet of Guadalcanal, the U.S. aircraft carrier YORKTOWN (sunk in the World War II Battle of Midway), and John F. Kennedy’s boat, PT-109.
While those discoveries have captured the imagination of the public, Dr. Ballard believes his most important discoveries were of hydrothermal vents and “black smokers” in the Galapagos Rift and East Pacific Rise in 1977 and 1979 along with their exotic life forms living off the energy of the Earth through a process now called chemosynthesis.
The Nevada Medal was established by DRI in 1988 to acknowledge outstanding achievement in science and engineering. The annual award includes an eight-ounce minted medallion of .999 pure Nevada silver and $20,000 lecture honorarium sponsored by AT&T.
The award program involves public lectures by the medalist at DRI campuses in Las Vegas and Reno. The award is formally presented by the Governor of Nevada during dinner ceremonies in Reno and Las Vegas attended by Nevada’s business, educational and governmental leaders.