The Marston Lecture in Geography was established in 2015 by Geography alumnus Richard A. Marston (M.S. ‘76, Ph.D. ‘80). The Marston Lecture was created to bring national and international scholars who have made important contributions in the areas of geographic inquiry to OSU.

Fall 2023 Marston Lecture

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Title: The Dive of a Lifetime to the Deepest Place on Earth

Speaker: Dawn Wright a.k.a. "Deepsea Dawn”

Talk summary: In the summer of 2022, Dawn Wright became the first Black person of any gender to dive to the deepest spot on the entire planet - Challenger Deep - in the western Pacific Ocean, in collaboration with Victor Vescovo and his Caladan Oceanic team. During this lecture, Dawn will talk about this dive—including the geospatial and imaging technologies used on the dive, discoveries from mapping this part of the world in history-making detail, and implications of discoveries for future ocean science.

Watch the lecture recording

Dawn Wright is chief scientist of Esri and a courtesy professor of geography and oceanography at Oregon State University. Esri is the global market leader in geographic information system (GIS) software, location intelligence, and mapping. With expertise in ocean informatics and geographic information science, Wright has authored 130+ articles and five books. She contributes to influential boards like the U.S. National Academy of Sciences Ocean Studies Board and is an elected member both the US National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering. Dawn Wright holds a Ph.D. in physical geography and marine geology from UC Santa Barbara and an M.S. in oceanography from Texas A&M. Her impact spans academia, research, and scientific leadership, making her a pioneer in oceanic exploration and diversity in science. She has been featured as a LEGO minifig and in a set of trading cards!

Past Marston Lectures


Richard A. Marston

Richard A. Marston is a University Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Geography at Kansas State University. He served as the 102nd President of the Association of American Geographers from 2005-06. He is an Emeritus Co-Editor-in-Chief of the journal, Geomorphology. The American Institute of Hydrology first certified Marston as Professional Hydrologist #488 in 1984. Marston is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Geographical Society, Explorers Club, Geological Society of America, and Royal Geographical Society. The Association of American Geographers recognized him in 2003 with the Ronald F. Abler Distinguished Service Honors.