Who is Sylvia Earle and What is Her Wish?

There’s a lot of talk these days about thinking green, but you have to remember, without the blue, there is no green.” -Sylvia Earle (aka Her Deepness)

Sylvia Earle has lived most of her life exploring a frontier I have never seen with my own eyes. Since 1966 when Sylvia Earle received her Ph.D. from Duke, she has made a lifelong project of cataloguing every species of plant that can be found in the Gulf of Mexico. In 1979, Sylvia Earle walked untethered on the sea floor at a lower depth than any other woman before or since. Today she is a “explorer-in-residence” at the National Geographic Society.

She is one of the three recent 2009 TED prize winners. The three winners are awarded the opportunity to share “one wish to change the world,” along with $100,000 each to fund the pursuit of that wish.

Here is Earle’s wish:

I wish you would use all means at your disposal — the films, the expeditions, the web! — to ignite public support for a global network of marine protected areas, hope spots large enough to save and restore the ocean, the blue heart of the planet.

If you have time this weekend, her talk at the TED conference is worth a watch.


She has also been credited with being the inspiration behind the new Google Earth.