Oceanographer, Marine Biologist, and Author
National Geographic Society explorer-in-residence Sylvia A. Earle is an oceanographer, explorer, author, and lecturer who has been called a “Living Legend” by the Library of Congress and “Hero for the Planet” by Time magazine. Formerly chief scientist of NOAA, Earle is the founder of Deep Ocean Exploration and Research, Inc., founder of Mission Blue and SEAlliance, and chair of the advisory councils of the Harte Research Institute and the Ocean in Google Earth.
Earle has led more than a hundred expeditions and logged more than 7,000 hours underwater, including leading the first team of women aquanauts during the Tektite Project in 1970; participating in ten saturation dives, most recently in July 2012; and setting a record for solo diving in 1,000-meter depth. Her research concerns marine ecosystems with special reference to exploration, conservation, and the development and use of new technologies for access and effective operations in the deep sea and other remote environments. Earle’s more than one hundred national and international honors include the 2011 Royal Geographical Society Gold Medal, 2011 Medal of Honor from the Dominican Republic, and the 2009 TED Prize.