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Dr Sylvia Earle inspires David de Rothschild to help save the oceans - |

Dr Sylvia Earle inspires David de Rothschild to help save the oceans

David de Rothschild - PopTech 2010 - Camden, Maine
Photo by poptech
When asked who inspired him David de Rothschild responded in an interview he gave that it was oceanographer Dr Sylvia Earle.

David was asked “What’s inspiring you right now?” and quoted by psychoPEDIA: Daily News , 9 April, 2007, as giving this answer: “Sylvia Earle… the deepest woman I know! She is an explorer in residence at National Geographic and an inspiration to all beings… What a lady!”

David de Rothschild is currently following Dr Earle’s example in trying his best to explore and do something about conserving the oceans. He completed an epic voyage across the Pacific Ocean from San Francisco in America to Sydney in Australia on a catamaran named the Plastiki, made from 12,500 recycled plastic bottles.

David wants to raise awareness of the very real danger the world faces from the pollution of the seas with plastic along with other rubbish and toxins.

Dr Sylvia Earle as “hero of the planet”

American aquanaut and author Sylvia Earle
Dr Sylvia Earle

In 1998, Earle was named Time magazine’s first “hero for the planet,” and it is a title she has proved herself very well-deserving of.

Sylvia Earle is an American oceanographer, who was born in 1935 in Gibbstown, New Jersey, and who has led an incredible life in which she has distinguished herself in many fields. Earle is an author, a lecturer, a researcher, an under-seas explorer, a conservationist, a botanist, and a marine biologist.

Explorer in Residence

She is currently Explorer in Residence at the National Geographic Society.

When she was 12, Earle moved with her family to live in Clearwater, Florida, on the Gulf of Mexico where she spent much of her time learning about the wildlife of the area.

Although her parents could not afford the fees for her to go to college themselves, the young Sylvia Earle won scholarships to Florida State University, where she studied and was awarded a B.S. degree in 1955. The following year she gained her masters degree at Duke University.

Gulf of Mexico

Laysan Albatross!
Photo by USFWS Pacific
In 1966, Sylvia Earle went on to be awarded a Ph.D. from the same university. The dissertation Phaeophyta of the Eastern Gulf of Mexico she presented caused a real stir in oceanographic circles. Such a detailed study had never been made before.

Earle began an incredible research project in which she has catalogued every species of plant that can be found in the Gulf of Mexico. She will have been completely devastated by what has happened with the BP oil catastrophe. The Gulf is the marine area she knows so well and loves so much!

What makes Sylvia Earle so remarkable is her insatiable drive and determination. Dr Earle, who has been called “Her Deepness” or “The Sturgeon General” is not afraid of any challenges that come her way or of speaking out about the world as she sees it.

Earle is a true pioneer and knows from first-hand experience what she is talking about. She has gone out into the oceans and explored the world, so has seen what was there, what is there, and how conditions have changed.

Sylvia Earle: How to protect the oceans (TED Prize winner!)

Tektite Project

Dr Earle has been the leader of over 60 expeditions and has actually spent over 6,000 hours under the water. She led the first team of women aquanauts as part of the Tektite Project in 1970, and she a new record for solo diving to a depth of 1,000 meters. Earle has been where few, if any, people have ever been and seen for herself what is there.

Dr Earle is the author of over 125 publications that deal with the subjects of marine science and technology. Her books include Exploring the Deep Frontier, Sea Change (1995), Wild Ocean: America’s Parks Under the Sea (1999) and The Atlas of the Ocean (2001).

Earle has also written books especially for children including Coral Reefs, Hello Fish, Sea Critters, Dive!, and Starfish.

TED Prize

Sylvia Earle was honoured with the 2009 TED Prize for her proposal of setting up a global network of marine protected areas, which she calls “hope spots… to save and restore… the blue heart of the planet.”

She is an optimist and has pointed out in her lectures that although so much terrible damage has been done already, we have learned a lot about the oceans and about how vital they are to the rest of life on Earth. Dr Sylvia Earle believes we can save the seas but we must act now!

Copyright © 2013 Steve Andrews. All Rights Reserved.

Dr Sylvia Earle website:



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  • Article by Bard of Ely

    avatar Born in Cardiff, South Wales, Steve Andrews lived there until 2004 when he relocated to Tenerife in the Canary Islands. He used to live on the Ely housing estate and Big Issue magazine, in which he had a regular column, dubbed him the Bard of Ely making reference to his talents as a singer-songwriter, poet and performer. He is also a writer, journalist, author, public speaker and naturalist. In 1998 he worked as a TV presenter for two series of In Full View on BBC Choice. He is the author of Herbs of the Northern Shaman (O-Books 2010) and Hummadruz and a Life of High Strangeness (Amazon Kindle), as well as having contributed to Tenerife News and the Tenerife Sun newspapers and Kindred Spirit, Prediction, Feed Your Brain. Living Tenerife, Permaculure and the National Federation of Occupational Pensioners magazines. Bard of Ely has performed at the Glastonbury and Green Man festivals and was a compère for the Avalon stage at Glastonbury in 2002 and 2003. He has had his songs released on many independent labels including Double Snazzy, Very Good Records, Pink Lemon and DMMG Records. He is written about and quoted in books by several fellow authors, and is in Fierce Dancing, Last of the Hippies (Faber & Faber) and Housing Benefit Hill (AK Press) by C.J. Stone, in The World's Most Mysterious People by Lionel and Patricia Fanthorpe (Hounslow), Real Cardiff by Peter Finch (Seren), The Trials of Arthur (Element) by Christopher James Stone and Arthur Pendragon, and in The Remarkable Life of Leonard Cohen (Omnibus) by Anthony Reynolds.
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