Vol. 17, No. 30May 7, 1998

Explorer Sylvia Earle to deliver message from the sea

Sylvia Earle, ocean scientist, researcher and explorer, will present "Sea Change-A Message of the Oceans" as the final lecture in the Year of the Ocean Lunch and Lecture series, sponsored by the College of Marine Studies and Sea Grant College Program.

The program will be presented from noon-1 p.m., Tuesday, May 19, in the Hotel du Pont in Wilmington. The United Nations has proclaimed 1998 the International Year of the Ocean, and in commemoration of this special year, the series was designed to focus global attention on the importance of the ocean and its sustainability.

In her most recent book, Sea Change: A Message of the Oceans, Earle writes about the marine environment and abundant forms of life found there based on her 30 years of undersea exploration. This book has been compared to Rachel Carson's Silent Spring as a plea to protect and preserve the fragile ocean ecosystem.

Earle also has written for National Geographic magazine, and her research on sperm whales in the South Pacific is the subject of the documentary film Gentle Giants of the Pacific.

Earle has spent more than 6,000 hours undersea. In her 1980 book, Exploring the Deep Frontier, she relates her adventure walking on the ocean floor untethered at a depth of 1,250 feet. This accomplishment has not been matched by any other deep-sea explorer. She also has been the chief scientist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Earle holds a bachelor's degree from Florida State University and master's and doctoral degrees from Duke University. She founded and is chair of Deep Ocean Exploration and Research, a company that designs, operates and consults on manned and robotic sub-sea systems.

The ocean supplies livelihood and recreation for people the world over. It covers more than 70 percent of the Earth, providing food, jobs and fun.

The ocean makes weather and is a promising source of new pharmaceuticals and other products, but there is increasing pressure on the marine environment.

Currently, more than half of the world's population live within 60 miles of the coast-and the trend is growing.

Cost of the lecture is $10 per person, and advance registration is required.

To register, call 831-2841, or e-mail MarineCom@mvs.udel.edu