Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum
From Island Sun News
The Bailey-Matthews Shell Museum will host a program titled Ship Of Gold In The Deep Blue Sea, presented by Dr. Ronald B. Toll. The audience will be taken back in time to an 1857 hurricane-induced shipwreck.
The SS Central America is one of the 10 richest wrecks in the western Atlantic.
This lecture will include extensive deep-sea photographs and videography related to the gold, artifacts and historical lessons associated with one of the greatest adventures in maritime exploration.
The SS Central America came to lie on the ocean floor at a depth of 8,000 feet after sinking in a hurricane on the evening of September 12, 1857.
It was discovered after years of searching, using the best technology of the day.
This story of the recovery of the gold, personal artifacts and historical context associated with the shipwreck is amazing. Dr. Toll, a senior member of the scientific staff associated with the recovery expedition, will talk about the treasure and draw connections to the lives lost during the tragic sinking of the historic vessel, the legal ramifications of the find, and the impact of the expedition upon deep-sea biological research.
Dr. Toll, a native of New Jersey, is provost and vice president for academic affairs at Florida Gulf Coast University. He holds an AA degree in biology from Union College in Cranford, New Jersey and a BA degree in zoology from Rutgers University.
He received his doctoral degree in biological oceanography from the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science of the University of Miami.
Following a postdoctoral fellowship at the Museum of Natural History of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, Dr. Toll assumed his first faculty assignment at the University of the South in Tennessee.
Dr. Toll has published over 30 peerviewed papers and monograph contributions in the area of marine invertebrates.
His work has taken him from coastal studies on the barrier islands of Georgia to his participation as associate director of adjunct sciences for the SS Central America Project.
That expedition led to the successful recovery of nearly $300 million in gold coins and bars from a depth of 8,000 feet.
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