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Marine Scientist, Deep-Sea Explorer Cindy Lee Van Dover To Speak At Wittenberg Series-Sponsored IBM Endowed Lecture Feb. 10

January 28, 2011  
 Filed in Community, Events, Science

Springfield, Ohio — Pioneering oceanographer Cindy Lee Van Dover will speak at the Wittenberg Series-sponsored IBM Endowed Lecture in the Sciences at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 10, in Bayley Auditorium in the Barbara Deer Kuss Science Center, 315 Bill Edwards Drive. Like all Wittenberg Series events, the lecture is free and open to the public.

In the historically male-dominated field of marine science, Van Dover was the first woman with a license to pilot an ALVIN, a three-person research submarine for deep-sea exploration. She has led almost 50 expeditions on the ALVIN, discovering new life forms and animals on the ocean floor on nearly every exploration. She is an expert in hydrothermal vents and chemosynthetic ecosystems. Described by Van Dover as being like the geysers of Yellowstone Park, these vents are oases of life on the barren ocean floor.

In 2006, Van Dover was named the first female director of the Duke University Marine Laboratory, where Wittenberg University students regularly study. She also serves as chair of the Division of Marine Science and Conservation, Nicholas School of the Environment. The recipient of a prestigious Fulbright Award, Van Dover obtained a master’s degree in ecology from UCLA and completed her doctoral work at MIT’s Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. She has received numerous professional recognitions for her teaching and research and has published more than 70 articles in peer-reviewed journals.

She is an active participant and chief scientist in National Science Foundation (NSF) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)-sponsored field programs to hydrothermal vents and other chemosynthetic environments. Van Dover has also authored popular books for the lay audience, including The Octopus’s Garden, about the deep sea, and Deep-Ocean Journeys, which documents her experiences as an ALVIN pilot.

Prior to her evening lecture for the public at Wittenberg University, Van Dover will participate in a student-faculty lecture at 3:50 p.m., also in Bayley Auditorium.

The IBM Endowed Lectures in the Sciences are funded by a gift to Wittenberg from the IBM Corporation. The lectures are designed to bring to campus distinguished scholars to enhance the role and image of science on a liberal arts campus and to bring about a larger understanding and appreciation of science as a most crucial contemporary exercise.

The Wittenberg Series annually brings distinguished lecturers and performing artists of national and international prominence to the Wittenberg campus and Springfield community. To make special arrangements, reserve a Series poster, or become a friend of the Wittenberg Series, contact Jeannine Fox at (937) 327-7470 or via e-mail at

Written By: Gabrielle Antoniadis


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