There are some people in this world, that have accomplished so much that you can't help but be astonished when you hear their story. We believe that Sylvia Earle most definitely is one of those people, read her story below:
Sylvia Alice Earle was born in 1935 in New Jersey. She is an American marine biologist, explorer and author who became the first woman chief scientist of the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Sylvia have been captured by life underwater since her childhood and she has dedicated her life to protect our precious inhabitants of the oceans. She was the first to be named 'Hero of the planet' by Time Magazine and we consider her as a true role model.
Earle was awarded an associate degree from St. Petersburg Jr. College in 1952. Later on she studied a Bachelor of Science in Botany from Florida State University and got her degree in 1955.
In 1956, she completed her Masters and later in 1966 her Ph.D. on algae in the Mexican Gulf, from Duke University.
After completing her Ph.D. in 1966, Earle became a research fellow at Harvard for a year. Because of her admirable work, in 1967, she became the resident director of the Cape Haze Marine Laboratory and came back to Florida. Furthermore, she also requested to join the Tektite Project because of her interest in the deep sea. Unfortunately, she got rejected. However, the next year, she was appointed to lead the first female team in Tektite II.
Sylvia has spent her whole life studying the ocean. She once said, “People ask: Why should I care about the ocean? Because the ocean is the cornerstone of the earth's life support system, it shapes climate and weather. It holds most of life on earth. 97% of earth's water is there. It's the blue heart of the planet — we should take care of our hearts. It's what makes life possible for us. We still have a really good chance to make things better than they are. They won't get better unless we take action and inspire others to do the same thing. No one is without power. Everybody has the capacity to do something."
As an explorer, Sylvia grew an interest for the deep sea and have a women’s depth record from a JIM suit dive. In 1982, Earle and her late husband, Graham Hawkes, founded Deep Ocean Engineering. Together they build the Deep Rover submarine which can go up to 1,000 meters (3,300 ft). Due to her passion for the deep sea, she has later been named "Her Deepness". In 1992, she accepted the invitation as Chief Scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and left the company. Sylvia later founded Deep Ocean Exploration and Research to make advancements in marine engineering. Today, her daughter, Elizabeth, runs the company.
“Many of us ask what can I, as one person, do, but history shows us that everything good and bad starts because somebody does something or does not do something.” Sylvia Earle
One of the biggest accomplishments of Sylvia Earle is the Mission Blue project. Because of her work with Mission Blue, she won a TED Prize in 2009. She wish to engage as many as possible to help save our oceans:
“I wish you would use all means at your disposal — films! expeditions! The web! New submarines! — to create a campaign to ignite public support for a global network of marine protected areas, Hope Spots large enough to save and restore the blue heart of the planet.”
The goal of Mission Blue is to protect marine life and create Hope Spots, marine protected areas. This mission have inspired people around the world and more than 200 organizations have supported the project. It is expected that by 2030, Mission Blue will achieve 30% protection of marine life. Many countries have also supported this mission. Netflix released an exclusive documentary named “Mission Blue” after the project, to increase awareness about marine life and its importance and to give an insight into Sylvias career.
Earle wrote in her book The World Is Blue: How Our Fate and the Ocean's Are One“: Knowing is the key to caring, and with caring there is hope that people will be motivated to take positive actions. They might not care even if they know, but they can't care if they are unaware.”
Our founder and CEO, Amalie Marstrand, has a close bond to the ocean herself, she has studied to become a marine biologist herself and has always looked up to Sylvia Earle as one of her big rolemodels. When founding VANDAYA it was really important to Amalie that VANDAYA would do as much possible to protect nature and especially our oceans. Some of the initiatives we have done to secure these goals are to make our shipping mailers 100% plastic free and compostable and to donate 10% of our surplus to the organisation metamorfosa.org that works to protect and secure coral reefs for the future.
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