The Columns

World-Renowned Oceanographer to Speak at W&L

— by on September 15th, 2011

Dr. Sylvia Earle, a National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence and an accomplished oceanographer, will give a public talk as the first speaker in the 2011-2012 WS2: Women Scientists and Women in Science speaker series. Her speech will be Monday, Sept. 19, at 5:30 p.m. at the Stackhouse Theater in Elrod Commons.

The title of Earle’s talk is “The World is Blue.” She will be speaking about the state of our oceans and her experiences as a pioneer in her field. A book signing will follow her talk.

Earle is the author of scientific papers to children’s books and is considered a “living legend” by the Library of Congress. She led the Tektite II Mission 6 in 1970, an all-female team that lived in an underwater habitat at 50 ft. doing marine research for two weeks. She holds multiple diving records, including still intact untethered deep diving records. She has been instrumental in the development and engineering of ROVs (deep water submersibles).

Former chief scientist at NOAA (National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration), Earle is founder of the Mission Blue Foundation and chair of the Advisory Council for the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies. In recent years has turned towards advocacy for ocean and marine health.

Earle has authored more than 150 scientific, technical and popular publications, including Sea Change: A Message of the Oceans and, most recently, co-authored Ocean: An Illustrated Atlas. She has been given numerouw honors including the Netherlands Order of the Golden Ark, inclusion in the National Women’s Hall of Fame and the American Academy of Achievement.

Earle is executive director for corporate and nonprofit organizations, including the Aspen Institute, the Conservation Fund, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and Duke University Marine Laboratory, to name a few.

Earle has a B.S. from Florida State University, an M.S. and a Ph.D. from Duke University and 15 honorary degrees.

The program is sponsored by the Geology Department, the Office of the Provost, The Office of the Dean, CONTACT, The Biology Department, the HHMI Program, the Women’s and Gender Studies Program (WGS), the Environmental Studies Program, Campus Activities and Leadership Development, the Outing Club, Women in Technology and Science (WITS), and Women in Math and Science (WIMS).