Sylvia A. Earle: Explorer joins the World Air League as Advisory Director
March 16, 2013

NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK — The World Air League is honored that Sylvia Alice Earle has joined it as an Oceanic and Environmental Advisory Director. Ms. Earle’s dedication to exploration and science will provide the World Sky Race program development with her unique and analytical perspective as it soars through the skies and circles the globe.

This announcement was received at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in Manhattan during the 109th Explorers Club Annual Dinner. Founded in 1904, The Explorers Club is a professional society dedicated to the advancement of field research and the ideal that it is vital to preserve the instinct to explore. The Explorers Club, of which both Sylvia Earle and Don Hartsell are members, includes past members who have been the first to the North Pole, first to the South Pole, first to summit Mt. Everest, the deepest point in the ocean and first to the moon.

Sylvia Alice Earle (born August 30, 1935) is an explorer, marine biologist and author. Earle has done pioneering work in studying ocean life, and she has helped develop the equipment necessary for underwater exploration. During 50 underwater expeditions and over 6,000 hours underwater, Earle has discovered many new marine species and set many diving records. In 1970, Earle led a team of five aquanauts who lived for 2 weeks (during which they experienced an underwater earthquake) in an underwater laboratory the "Tektite II." She has discovered many underwater phenomena, including undersea dunes in the Atlantic Ocean off the Bahama Islands.

Earle's diving records include the world's deepest solo dive without a tether. In 1979, off the coast of Oahu, Hawaii, she descended to 1,250 feet while strapped to the front of a submarine. She then unstrapped herself and walked around the bottom, where the pressure was 600 pounds per square inch. In 1981, Earle and Graham Hawkes started the company Deep Ocean Engineering, Inc., which designs and manufactures underwater robots and deep sea submersibles. Earle also founded Deep Ocean Exploration and Research, Inc. She was the chief scientist for the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) from 1990 to 1991. A prolific author, Earle has written more than 125 scientific and popular publications, and five books, including Sea Change.

"Today is an affirmation for the World Sky Race and the importance of its environmental mission. The World Air League greatly welcomes Dr. Earle’s participation in helping promote the World Sky Race as a connecting and uplifting event for the globe. Sylvia defines exploration with jubilant enthusiasm. In her company, we feel the abundant thrill of challenging boundaries which can only be clearly defined in the retrospect of after having crossed them." Don Hartsell, World Air League Commissioner.

Fellows and Members of The Explorers Club are significant as esteemed Advisers to the World Air League. Dr. Earle joins with Dr. Norman R. Augustine, Astronaut Richard M. Linnehan, James Fowler, Robert J. Atwater, Alan Valdes, Garrett Bowden, Alicia Stevens and Geoffrey Connor on the Board.