Mission Aquarius Crew: Her Deepness, Sylvia Earle

Meet the crew of Mission Aquarius.

This is part of our ongoing coverage of Mission Aquarius, what may be the last mission to the world’s only remaining undersea research base. For the full story, visit our Mission Aquarius expedition page.

Mission Aquarius team leader, Her Deepness is also known as the Sturgeon General. She is a National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence, One World One Ocean science advisor, Time Magazine Hero For the Planet, winner of the 2009 TED Prize, former Chief Scientist of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, leader of the first all-woman team to Tektite, the first American underwater sea lab, leader of Sustainable Seas Expeditions, author of 125 publications, expert in the effects of oil spills, largely responsible for spurring Google to add the ocean to their popular Earth program.

We’ll stop here—her list of accomplishments is deeper than the Mariana Trench. As a preeminent oceanographer, Earle’s writing and lectures about her personal exploration of the ocean, and its importance in the survival of all life on the planet, have inspired people around the world. She received her BS from Florida State University, and her MS and PhD from Duke University.

Sylvia Earle in the Deep See submersible. Photo: © Kip Evans.

From her TED bio: “Earle’s work has been at the frontier of deep ocean exploration for four decades. Earle has led more than 50 expeditions worldwide involving more than 6,000 hours underwater. As captain of the first all-female team to live underwater, she and her fellow scientists received a ticker-tape parade and White House reception upon their return to the surface. In 1979, Sylvia Earle walked untethered on the sea floor at a lower depth than any other woman before or since. In the 1980s she started the companies Deep Ocean Engineering and Deep Ocean Technologies with engineer Graham Hawkes to design and build undersea vehicles that allow scientists to work at previously inaccessible depths.

“Sylvia Earle is a dedicated advocate for the world’s oceans and the creatures that live in them. Her voice speaks with wonder and amazement at the glory of the oceans and with urgency to awaken the public from its ignorance about the role the oceans plays in all of our lives and the importance of maintaining their health.”


From Dr. Earle herself: “We’ve got to somehow stabilize our connection to nature so that in 50 years from now, 500 years, 5,000 years from now there will still be a wild system and respect for what it takes to sustain us.”

Sylvia Earle. Photo: © Kip Evans.


Back to Blog »

Go Top