Thursday, April 5, 2012
E Is For Sylvia Earle
So without further ado... My E is for Sylvia Earle, oceanographer and hero of mine. She lead the first team of all women aquanauts in 1970 during the Tektite II project, a deep sea habitat program in which divers lived under the ocean for 10 to 20 days at a time and studied the effects on the human body as well the psychological effects of working in a closed environment.
In 1979, Sylvia made a JIM suit dive to the ocean floor near, Oahu, Hawaii, setting a woman's depth record at 381 meters (1250 ft.). She also owns the record for a woman's solo dive in a submersible at 1000 meters (3300 ft.).
She founded Deep Ocean Engineering with her husband, engineer and submersible designer, Graham Hawkes in 1985. The company designed and built the Deep Rover research submarine in 1987, which operates down to a depth of 3300 feet. She left the company in 1990 to accept an appointment as chief scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Seven years later she started DOER, Deep Ocean Exploration and Research, a company that designs, builds and operates equipment for deep ocean environments. A company that is now run by her daughter, Elizabeth.In 1998 she named Time Magazine's first "hero for the planet."
She has lead more than 60 deep sea expeditions and served as the leader for the Sustainable Seas Expedition from 1998 to 2002, a five year program to study the United States National Marine Sanctuary. In 2009 she was awarded a TED grant and founded Mission Blue, a program that aims to create marine protected areas around the globe. So far they have established these so-called "hope spots" in Cuba, Belize, the Galapagos Islands and the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef off of the Yucatan Peninsula.
Sylvia is a Knight of the Netherlands' Order of the Golden Ark
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