5 Ways Oceanographer Sylvia Earle Has Made Waves

by Grace Easterby

From June 1-5, The World Science Festival took place in New York City. The festival included an event in partnership with The Moth, a live storytelling podcast, known for its personal and moving tales. The audience heard stories from famous scientists and innovators, anecdotes of how they have “Made Waves”; hearing from George Church (geneticist and molecular engineer), Michael J. Massimino (former NASA astronaut), Cathy Olkin (planetary scientist),  James McClintock (marine biologist), and Sylvia Earle.

Sylvia Earle has truly been making waves since 1970. Called “Her Deepness” by the New Yorker and the New York Times, “Living Legend” by the Library of Congress, and first “Hero for the Planet” by Time magazine, Earle is an American marine biologist, oceanographer, explorer, and author. Sylvia Earle has and is accomplishing great things as both a scientist and a woman. Here are just 5 of the outstanding things Earle has done throughout her life.


1. Sylvia Earle was part of the first all-female team of aquanauts in 1970—living underwater to research one area of study for several weeks—known as Tektite II.

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2. Earle broke the record for deepest woman’s dive in 1979, diving 381 meters in open water. She has also set the record for solo diving in 1,000-meter depth.


3. She was the former chief scientist of NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration).


4. Earle has founded numerous organizations that research and protect our oceans, including Deep Ocean Exploration and Research, Inc., Mission Blue and SEAlliance.


5. Lastly, Earle currently serves as a Chair of the Advisory Councils of the Harte Research Institute and the Ocean in Google Earth.


Leading over a hundred expeditions and spending more than 7,000 hours of her life underwater, Earle has committed herself to gaining a better understanding of the sea. She is a passionate conservationist and implored The Moth audience to reconsider their impact and work towards keeping our environment clean. As she said at The Moth, “Every breath you take the ocean is touching you. Every drop of water you drink has been a part of the ocean. You are part of the ocean. So, what we do to the ocean, basically, we are doing to ourselves.”  



Images courtesy of Earle’s twitter

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