For decades, she has been diving beneath the ocean’s surface to bring back discoveries and an important alternative perspective to the rest of her land-loving species.
Breaking cultural barriers as well as world records and new scientific ground, National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Sylvia Earle has been a true explorer and pioneer. Now, Glamour magazine is recognizing both her long-term legacy and still-vital activities, presenting her with the 2014 Glamour Women of the Year Lifetime Achievement award.Sylvia Earle has been diving and working with National Geographic for so long that we can reuse this illustration from the Magazine and the casual observer might just think it’s hip and retro, instead of 43 years old. (Illustration by Pierre Mion)
In her youth she snorkeled and dove for fun. In grad school in the 1950s she battled preconceived notions of a woman’s interests and abilities. In her early work she made long-duration walks on the sea floor in the Jim suit, and lived for extended periods in the Aquarius underwater lab. At the turn of the millennium she was diving in the innovative single-person Newtsub. All along, she has been a tireless advocate for exploration and understanding of the ocean’s importance to all life on Earth.
Now, still diving at every chance she gets, she speaks to everyone who will listen (and many who would rather not) about how over-fishing and climate change are combining to drastically alter this precious world within our world. She is a voice for the deep blue, an inspiration to women and to any scientist, activist, explorer, or innovator, and a challenge to any who think tough battles can’t be won.
See what Glamour has to say about her as well, but don’t just take our words for it. Watch below to see Sylvia’s passion in action, and listen to an extended interview from “On Being“.