September 9, 2003

Deep-Sea Explorer To Launch 2003-2004 SMU Collegium da Vinci Lecture Series

DALLAS (SMU) -- John Delaney, professor of oceanography at the University of Washington and director of the NEPTUNE Project, will open the 2003-2004 SMU Collegium da Vinci Lecture Series by presenting a free public lecture on Sunday, Sept. 28 at 7:30 p.m. in Caruth Auditorium, Owen Arts Center.

Delaney's lecture, titled "Volcanoes, Oceans, and Life in Our Solar System," will explore why the oceans were likely an essential component in the development and evolution of early life on this planet and how technology is radically changing the ocean and earth sciences.

As director of the NEPTUNE Project, Delaney leads the international team that is developing the world's first regional-scale ocean observatory. NEPTUNE's goal is to establish a 2,000-mile network of heavily instrumented underwater observatories within the depths of the northeast Pacific Ocean.

The NEPTUNE network, which is expected to be operational by 2007, will enable scientists, students, decision-makers and the general public to use the Internet to gain a new understanding of a variety of ocean processes, including earthquakes, tsunamis, ocean nutrients, fish stocks, marine mammals, mineral and hydrocarbon deposits, and human influences on ocean and climate systems.

Delaney's presentation will begin this year's Collegium da Vinci Lecture Series sponsored by SMU's Dedman College. The public lecture is underwritten by the Pierce and Allie Beth Allman and Otto and Jane Allman Wetzel families. For more information on Collegium da Vinci, call 214-768-1177 or visit