View Quadangles Print Version →


 

Read Class Notes Online →

 

Browse CLASSPICS

 

 

Past Issues →

 

 

 

subscribeOnline picture

 

 

Advertise with Us →

 

 

Bookmark and Share

 

 

subscribeOnline picture RSS feed

 

When the Turkish Government Called, URI Was There

When a foreign government in the middle of a tense international conflict needs help on short notice locating military equipment at the bottom of the sea, who do they turn to? Oceanography Professor Robert Ballard, Ph.D. ’75 and his team of scientists and students, of course.

In July, Ballard’s team was preparing to depart from Istanbul aboard the ship Nautilus for a scientific mission to the Black Sea and the eastern Mediterranean, when a Turkish military jet was shot down by Syrian anti-aircraft defenses. The Turkish government asked for Ballard’s assistance to find the jet and recover the pilots’ bodies. With the approval of the U.S. State Department, Ballard—along with Associate Professor Chris Roman, ocean engineering grad student Mike Filimon ’11, Graduate School of Oceanography alumni Katy Croff Bell, Ph.D. ’11 and Mike Brennan, M.A. ’08, Ph.D. ’12 and many colleagues—went to work. Within a week, the wreckage had been found and the pilots’ bodies returned to Turkey.

The effort was possible because of the scientists’ training and experience and the state-of-the-art technologies they had at their disposal, including remotely operated vehicles and side-scan sonar.

The Turkish ambassador, who was aboard throughout the operation, was so impressed with the recovery effort that he offered to purchase the ship and all the equipment aboard for his country’s military operations. “I told him that it’s not the ship and the technology that he needs,” said Ballard. “He needs the expertise of our scientists, most of whom earned degrees from the Graduate School of Oceanography.”

That conversation has already led to discussions about enrolling Turkish students at GSO so that the next time the government needs to search the seafloor, they’ll know how to do it themselves.

Comments are open, but there are no comments.

Leave a Comment

Most comments will be posted within 24 hours of submission.

Spam protection by WP Captcha-Free

Features

Salute to Eleanor Porter

A Yearning for Home

The Business of Dumpster Diving

Getting Technical on Crime

Throw your iPhone, We Dare You

Real Life Through the Lens

News & Views

Helping Veterans Find Peace at Home

Healthy Rhode Islanders, Healthy Savings

When the Turkish Government Called, URI Was There

Students Engineer a Clean, Green Solution

Eating Green

R.I. Radio Hall of Fame Welcomes “Voice of the Rams”

Students Create Award-Winning PSAs

September Is Pharmacy Month at URI

Press Box

Grapes and Grain Raises Record Amount

Luebke Provided Years of Support

Foster Suits Up For Colts

Rhody Auctions Come to GoRhody.com

Class Acts Profiles

Paul Lonardo ’98

Danielle (Towne) Oaks ’06 and Eli Moger ’10

Rachel Lessne ’07

Carlene Capobianco-Messinger ’89

Danielle Bogert ’93

Molly Sholes, M.L.S. ’80

Back Page

Still Playin’ the Blues

Alumni Chapters →

Wrapups

Family Day at Roger Williams Park Zoo

It’s All Thanks to You, Rhode Island

URI Night with the PawSox

Upcoming Events

All in the Family

Homecoming Weekend 2012

Big Chill Weekend 2013

URI Honors Colloquium

Alumni Career Services

Job Interview Basics




QuadAngles © 2014 URI Alumni Association. All rights reserved. Produced by the Office of Publications and Creative Services for the URI Alumni Association, Alumni Center, 73 Upper College Rd., Kingston, RI 02881. Phone: 401-874-2242 | Contact Quadangles