CORVALLIS, Ore. – Geographer and oceanographer Dawn Wright, who in 2022 became the first Black person to dive to the deepest known point on the planet, will give the fall 2023 Marston lecture Nov. 15 at Oregon State University.

Wright, who is also known by the moniker “Deepsea Dawn,” is a nationally recognized expert in geographic information systems and the mapping and study of the deep ocean. As part of an ocean exploration dive in summer 2022, she descended in a submersible more than 10,000 meters to Challenger Deep, located in the Mariana Trench in the western Pacific Ocean.

In her lecture, “The Dive of a Lifetime to the Deepest Place on Earth,” Wright will discuss her expedition to Challenger Deep, which was part of a collaboration with undersea explorer Victor Vescovo and his ocean research company, Caladan Oceanic. As part of the talk, she will discuss the geospatial and imaging technologies used on the dive, discoveries from mapping that part of the world and implications for future ocean science.

Wright is chief scientist of Esri, a California-based company that focuses on geographic information system (GIS) software, mapping and more. Wright was on the OSU faculty from 1995 to 2013, when she joined Esri, and maintains her affiliation with the university as a courtesy professor in OSU’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences.

The lecture is free and open to the public and will be held at 6 p.m. in the Construction and Engineering Hall in The LaSells Stewart Center, 875 SW 26th St., Corvallis. The lecture will also be viewable online via Zoom. Advance registration is required. Tickets and requests for the Zoom link can be obtained at: For those attending in person, a reception will be held before the lecture, starting at 5 p.m. in the Myrtle Tree Alcove in The LaSells Stewart Center.  

The Marston lecture was established in 2015 by gifts from Richard A. Marston through the Oregon State University Foundation. The lecture was created to bring national and international scholars who have made important contributions in areas of geographic inquiry to Oregon State.

Marston, a University Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Kansas State University who retired in 2016, earned his master’s and doctoral degrees in geography from Oregon State. He is a fellow of the American Association of Geographers, American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Geological Society of America, The Explorers Club and the Royal Geographic Society.

College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences

About the OSU College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences (CEOAS): The college is renowned for research excellence and academic programs that span the earth, ocean and climate sciences, as well as the human dimensions of environmental change. CEOAS inspires scientific solutions for Oregon and the world.

Story By: 

Michelle Klampe, 541-737-0784, [email protected]

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