Sylvia Earle

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Dr. Sylvia A. Earle
1996 Recipient

Commenting on Dr. Earle’s selection, Lindbergh Foundation President Reeve Lindbergh said, “The Award recognizes Sylvia’s lifelong love affair with the oceans and her inspired advocacy on behalf of their health and, therefore, the health of the planet which is ultimately dependent upon them.”


One of the world’s foremost marine scientists, Dr. Sylvia A. Earle is co-founder of Deep Ocean Engineering, Inc., and former Chief Scientist of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Deep Ocean Engineering, a San Leandro, California-based company, designs, develops, manufactures and operates equipment in the ocean and other remote or hostile environments. Dr. Earle has set records for an untethered dive (1,250 feet in 1979 in a 1,000-pound “Jim” suit) and solo dive (3,000 feet in 1985 in the submersible, “Deep Rover”). Her more than 50 research expeditions and over 6,000 hours underwater include trips in submersibles two and one-half miles beneath the ocean’s surface. During her time as Chief Scientist of NOAA, Dr. Earle’s work on behalf of the ecology of the oceans resulted in expansion of the marine sanctuary program. She has lectured in over 60 countries, authored more than 90 publications, and serves or has served as Chairman of the Caribbean Marine Research Center, member of the Council of the World Wide Fund for Nature and the World Wildlife Fund, and Director of The Charles A. and Anne Morrow Lindbergh Foundation (Past President), the Center for Marine Conservation, The Explorers Club, and the World Resources Institute.