Author to Discuss History of 'Sealab' during a Special Presentation at Birch Aquarium at Scripps


Guest Speaker: Ben Hellwarth, author of "SEALAB: America’s Forgotten Quest to Live and Work on the Ocean Floor"
Date: Monday, September 30
Time: 7-8 p.m., Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
Cost: $5 Public, Free for members
RSVP: 858-534-5771 or online

In the early 1960s, while NASA was trying to put a man on the moon, the U.S. Navy launched a series of daring experiments to prove that divers could live and work from a base on the seafloor. When the first underwater “habitat” called Sealab was tested, conventional dives had strict depth limits and lasted for only minutes, not the hours, days and even weeks that the visionaries behind Sealab wanted to achieve.

Join author Ben Hellwarth as he shares archival visuals and rare audio clips in a presentation based on his new book, SEALAB: America’s Forgotten Quest to Live and Work on the Ocean Floor. SEALAB is the first-ever account about the pioneering U.S. Navy divers and scientists—along with famed adventurers like Jacques Cousteau—who set out to achieve much longer, deeper dives than ever thought possible. Two Sealab projects took place off the Southern California coast; the most successful was set up off the coast of La Jolla with the help of Scripps Institution of Oceanography scientists. 

Hellwarth will sign books following the presentation. Purchase SEALAB in advance from the Aquarium Gift Shop and receive priority seating at the event. To receive priority seating the book must be purchased on site or by phone at 858-534-8753.

Ben Hellwarth, a veteran journalist, interviewed many surviving participants and uncovered lost documents and records to write SEALAB: America's Forgotten Quest to Live and Work on the Ocean Floor, the first full account of a daring American venture and the breakthroughs in science and exploration that forever changed our relationship to the underwater world. Hellwarth’s writing has appeared in such publications as The New York Times and Discover magazine.

About Birch Aquarium at Scripps
Birch Aquarium at Scripps is the public exploration center for the world-renowned Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego. Perched on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the Aquarium features more than 60 habitats of fish and invertebrates from the cold waters of the Pacific Northwest to the tropical waters of Mexico and beyond. An interactive museum showcases research discoveries by Scripps scientists on climate, earth and ocean science and features five-dozen interactive elements. Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, Birch Aquarium has an annual attendance of more than 436,000, including 40,000 school children.

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