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Geoscience Information Services (GIS) provides a series of illustrated lectures in earth and space sciences and the Earth System under the broad topical heading of "The Changing Planet." Both Dr. Richard S. Williams, Jr., and Ms. Mary Ellen Williams have presented lectures on cruise ships for various companies. Dr. Williams was an adjunct professor and lecturer for the Georgetown University-sponsored World Affairs Program, created for Royal Viking Cruise Line by Prof. Harm J. de Blij, also a former staff geographer for ABC's Good Morning America Program. During the 1992-1994 period, Dr. Williams presented more than a dozen different lectures on four cruises: Bridgetown, Barbados, to Seville, Spain; Singapore to Athens, Greece; Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, to San Francisco, CA, all aboard the M/V Royal Viking Queen; and Sidney, Australia, to San Francisco, CA, on the M/V Royal Viking Sun, the latter under the management of Cunard Lines. On the Singapore to Athens, Greece, cruise, Ms. Williams presented a lecture on the Mount Pinatubo volcanic eruption, and Dr. Williams served on the bridge as tour guide for the 6-hour south-to-north transit of the Suez Canal. All of the lectures are presented in PowerPoint format and run about 45 minutes, with 15 minutes for questions from the audience. In a few lectures, movies (e.g., eruption of Surtsey, Iceland) supplement the PowerPoint presentation.

Examples of topics presented in the illustrated lectures given during the four cruises include:

  • Volcano Surtsey, Iceland
  • Lunar Landing: 20 July 1969
  • Global Environmental Change in the Geosphere and Biosphere
  • New Views of the Outer Solar System
  • Climate Warming, Melting Glaciers, and Rise in Sea Level
  • Journey to the Stars
  • Rediscovering the H.M.S. Titanic
  • The Terrestrial Planets: Mercury, Venus, Earth and Its Moon, and Mars
  • Vatnajökull: Iceland's Icy Jewel
  • The Earth, Asteroids, and Evolution
  • Mars: A Visit to a Desert Planet
  • The 1973 Volcanic Eruption on Heimaey, Iceland
  • Mount Pinatubo Eruption, Philippine Islands
  • Iceland: Exotic Land of Ice and Fire; and Volcanic Landforms
  • Human Impact on the Planet: An Earth System Science Perspective and Ethical Considerations

Descriptions of the above lectures and the four cruise itineraries, and topics of additional lectures presented at various universities and for other organizations, are provided upon request . Please contact GIS for the fee schedule for lectures.

Geoscience Information Services, PO Box 911, West Falmouth, MA 02574-0911 USA, 508-344-6840,