Participants: James Cameron, National Geographic Explorer-In-Residence; Douglas Bartlett, Microbiologist, Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Patricia Fryer, Geologist, University of Hawaii; Kevin Hand, Astrobiologist, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

On 26 March 2012, James Cameron became the first person in history to reach the Earth’s deepest known point as a solo pilot, successfully piloting the DEEPSEA CHALLENGER nearly 11 kilometers, almost 36,000 feet, to the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench. The dive was part of the DEEPSEA CHALLENGE Expedition, a series of dives to investigate the New Britain and Mariana Trenches, mounted by Cameron and a team of engineers, scientists and educators supported by National Geographic and Rolex.  Of notable accomplishment was the sub’s ability to remain at the bottom of the Challenger Deep, explore, sample and film for nearly 3 hours. Data from the sub was integrated with 19 free-falling lander deployments. The two full-ocean depth science platforms captured video footage of unprecedented clarity, collected sediment, physical oceanographic data, water samples and biological samples throughout the expedition.

Cameron, a veteran of more than 80 manned submersible dives and eight oceanographic expeditions, will discuss the innovation in engineering associated with the development of the DEEPSEA CHALLENGER submersible, full-ocean-depth 3D cameras, lighting, hydraulics, sampling tools and now-patented syntactic foam.  Dr’s Bartlett, Fryer and Hand will discuss preliminary scientific findings in the context of scientific exploration at extreme depths.  Learn more about the expedition at