Sylvia Earle, called “Her Deepness” by the New Yorker and the New York Times, “Living Legend” by the Library of Congress, and the first “Hero for the Planet,” is an oceanographer, explorer, author, and lecturer with experience as a field research scientist. She also is executive director for corporate and nonprofit organizations, including the Aspen Institute, the Conservation Fund, American Rivers, Mote Marine Laboratory, Duke University Marine Laboratory, Rutgers Institute for Marine Science, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, and Ocean Conservancy.
Former chief scientist of NOAA, Earle is president of Deep Search International and chair of the Advisory Council for the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies. She has a B.S. from Florida State University, an M.S. and a Ph.D. from Duke University, and 15 honorary degrees. She has authored more than 150 scientific, technical, and popular publications, lectured in more than 60 countries, and appeared in hundreds of television productions.
Earle has led more than 60 expeditions and logged more than 6,000 hours underwater, including leading the first team of women aquanauts during the Tektite Project in 1970 and setting a record for solo diving to a depth of 1,000 meters (3,300 feet). Her research concerns marine ecosystems with special reference to exploration and the development and use of new technologies for access and effective operations in the deep sea and other remote environments.
Honors include the Netherlands Order of the Golden Ark, inclusion in the National Women’s Hall of Fame and the American Academy of Achievement, and medals from the Explorers Club, the Philadelphia Academy of Sciences, the Lindbergh Foundation, the National Wildlife Federation, Sigma Xi, Barnard College, the New England Aquarium, the Seattle Aquarium, the Society of Women Geographers, and the National Parks Conservation Association.