Background Info

On August 30, 1935, oceanographer Sylvia Earle was born in Gibbstown, New Jersey. Earle, nicknamed “Her Deepness,” has led more than 50 expeditions around the world, with more than 6,000 hours underwater. As an explorer-in-residence at the National Geographic Society, she is an advocate for underwater creatures and their ocean habitat. In recent years, Sylvia Earle has worked to create a network of marine protected areas throughout the world.

Earle reminds listeners that protecting the ocean is protecting the Earth: “Ninety-seven percent of Earth’s water is ocean. No blue, no green. If you think the ocean isn’t important, imagine Earth without it.”

Currently, less than one percent of the world’s oceans are protected.


Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry



to argue in favor of something.



journey with a specific purpose, such as exploration.



pre-eminent explorers and scientists collaborating with the National Geographic Society to make groundbreaking discoveries that generate critical scientific information, conservation-related initiatives and compelling stories.



environment where an organism lives throughout the year or for shorter periods of time.

Encyclopedic Entry: habitat

marine protected area (MPA)


area of the ocean where a government has placed limits on human activity.

National Geographic Society


(1888) organization whose mission is "Inspiring people to care about the planet."



large body of salt water that covers most of the Earth.

Encyclopedic Entry: ocean



person who studies the ocean.


Media Credits

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Caryl-Sue, National Geographic Society


Mary Crooks, National Geographic Society

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