Ticonderoga David Gallo has been to great depths, literally and figuratively.
Gallo was a poor student who struggled with Attention Deficit Disorder. Today he’s a world-renown oceanographer who has explored the Titanic.
He shared his experiences with Ticonderoga Middle School students recently through a video conference.
“I could show you my report cards,” Gallo said. “I was not a very good student. I really struggled with ADD. I just wanted to crawl into a ball and hoped no one would bother me. I realize now that’s the worst thing you can do.”
Gallo eventually found his way to Schenectady Community College, where he learned two important lessons.
“I learned I had to work harder than everyone else,” he said. “I took a lot of notes and I would study three hours for every 40 minutes in class. I realized that’s what I had to do to get from here to there. I don’t care where you go to college. College is what you make of it.
“I also learned it’s OK to ask for help,” he said. “There are amazing people all around us who want to help. Just ask them.”
Gallo went on to earn his doctorate degree and now works at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts, the world’s largest private, non-profit oceanographic research institution. It’s a global leader in the study and exploration of the ocean.
The world’s oceans are amazing, Gallo told students.
“Today we’ve only explored about 3 percent of what’s out there in the ocean,” he said. “Already we’ve found the world’s highest mountains, the world’s deepest valleys, underwater lakes, underwater waterfalls. There’s still 97 percent, and either that 97 percent is empty or just full of surprises.”
Gallo has participated in expeditions to all of the world’s oceans and was one of the first scientists to use a combination of robots and submarines to explore the deep sea floor. He co-led an expedition to create the first detailed and comprehensive map of the Titanic and the German battleship Bismarck. He co-led the successful international effort to locate the wreckage of Air France Flight 447 that crashed in the Atlantic Ocean in 2009.