UT Hosts Live Web cast of Black Sea Exploration

KNOXVILLE — The University of Tennessee is offering a live video feed of real-life exploration and adventure from the bottom of the Black Sea.

UT’s Office of Information Technology is hosting a Web cast of the latest expedition by international explorer Robert Ballard, who is investigating archeological sites in the Black Sea.

The video is being screened 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily through August 15 in the University Center’s main lounge. It is free and open to the public.

Ballard, who found the sunken Titanic in 1985, says the Black Sea may be the site of many great flood legends of ancient history. Its lower-than-normal oxygen levels have kept wood, cloth and other organic materials from decaying, he says.

His expedition has found several shipwrecks and this week is exploring what may be a man-made building foundation in an area flooded 7,600 years ago.

The live video originates from Ballard’s ship, the R/V Knorr, and is not available on conventional cable or TV.

Chris Hodge of UT’s Office of Information Technology said UT is able to offer the live feed because of its membership in Internet 2, a collaboration of industry, government, international organizations and more than 200 research universities.

The video is streamed through a technology called multicast, which is not widely used because “it is technically very challenging,” Hodge said.

UT is testing multicast on the local campus network and making it available for research purposes here, he said.

The expedition, sponsored by the Institute for Exploration at Mystic Aquarium and the National Geographic Society, includes scientists from the University of Rhode Islands Institute for Archaeological Oceanography, The University of Pennsylvania, Harvard University, MIT, and Florida State University.

For more information about the expedition, see its website at http://www.expedition2003.org.