UD Webcast tonight honors captain of ship that sailed to the polar limits
Captain Lawson Brigham
1:39 p.m., Feb. 12, 2008--Capt. Lawson Brigham, who sailed to the polar limits of the global ocean on a voyage from Antarctica to the North Pole, will join a celebrated group of adventurers when he signs the American Geographical Society's Fliers' and Explorers' Globe at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 12, at the University of Delaware's Louise and David Roselle Center for the Arts.

The ceremony will be Webcast live, beginning at 7:30 p.m. Eastern, at [www.udel.edu/UMS/udlive].

As a Coast Guard captain, Brigham commanded the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Polar Sea on a 1994 voyage from the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica to the North Pole. He currently is deputy director of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission.

The globe has previously been signed by more than 75 of the planet's most-celebrated explorers, including Amelia Earhart, Robert Peary, Roald Amundsen, Richard Byrd, John Glenn and Neil Armstrong.

According to tradition, a previous signer of the globe must introduce and “pass the pen” to Brigham. Fittingly, that past signer, Don Walsh, also has saltwater in his veins. Walsh, the first submersible pilot in the United States, entered the world's record books on Jan. 23, 1960, when he and Swiss scientist Jacques Piccard dived in the Navy bathyscaph Trieste to the deepest point in the ocean--nearly 7 miles underwater. The location was 35,840 feet beneath the surface of the Pacific in the Mariana Trench.

Also welcoming Brigham to the podium will be John Noble Wilford, who has served as science correspondent, assistant national news editor, and director of science news at The New York Times. Wilford is the winner of two Pulitzer prizes--for national reporting of science topics in 1984, and as part of a team effort reporting on the Challenger space shuttle explosion and its aftermath in 1987. He has been the author, coauthor or editor of eight books and has received numerous awards, including the Westinghouse Science Writing Award and two honorary doctorates.

The event will kick off UD's William S. Carlson International Polar Year Events, named in honor of the UD president from 1946-1950, who was a distinguished polar explorer.