Sea Change A Message of the Oceans

ISBN-10: 0449910652
ISBN-13: 9780449910658
Edition: N/A
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Description: Internationally renowned as the ambassador-at-large to the world's oceans, Sylvia Earle is an extraordinary woman--the former chief scientist of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, a distinguished marine biologist, a veteran of more  More...

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Book details

List price: $17.00
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 5/21/1996
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 384
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.50" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.792

Internationally renowned as the ambassador-at-large to the world's oceans, Sylvia Earle is an extraordinary woman--the former chief scientist of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, a distinguished marine biologist, a veteran of more than 6,000 hours underwater, the founder of an ocean engineering firm, and an eloquent advocate for marine conservation. Sea Change is at once the gripping adventure story of Earle's three decades of undersea exploration, an insider's introduction to the dynamic field of marine biology, and an urgent plea for the preservation of the world's fragile and rapidly deteriorating ocean ecosystems. Earle takes us along on journeys to places of unimaginable beauty and unutterable destruction. She conjures up the exhilaration of swimming with humpback whales off the coast of Maui; she makes us comprehend the true environmental tragedy of the massive oil spills in Prince William Sound and the Persian Gulf; and she leads us out into Australia's Great Barrier Reef, the epitome of ocean wilderness but also the final resting place for tons of waste that drift in from thousands of miles away. This brilliant, thought-provoking, superbly readable book will inspire a new reverence for the majesty of the world's oceans even as it opens our eyes to the intricate interdependence of all life-forms.

Sylvia Earle can lay claim to the titles marine botanist, environmentalist, businesswoman, writer, and deep-sea explorer. Of them all, the last is perhaps the one that most captures the imagination. She has spent more than 6,000 hours (over seven months) underwater. In 1979, she attached herself to a submarine that took her, at times as fast as 100 feet per minute, to the ocean floor 1,250 feet below. Dressed in a "Jim suit," a futuristic concoction of plastic and metal armor, she made the deepest solo dive ever made without a cable connecting her to a support vessel at the surface. This daring dive is comparable to the NASA voyage to the moon 10 years before. In 1984 Earle became the co-designer (with Graham Hawkes) of Deep Rover, a deep-sea submersible capable of exploring the midwaters of the ocean. Their company, Deep Ocean Technology, went on to develop a second-generation submersible, Deep Flight, that can speed through the ocean at depths of as much as 4,000 feet. Currently under development is Ocean Everest, expected to operate at a depth of up to 35,800 feet, which will take scientists to the deepest parts of the sea. Although the uses of submersibles are still largely scientific, Earle hopes that they might one day transport laypeople to the bottom of the sea. She feels that the "experience of flying through a dark ocean, of watching the lights of a luminescent creature flash all around us" might help us gain more respect for the largely unexplored ocean world. In addition to the scientific work that led to her being appointed in 1990 as chief scientist of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Earle has worked tirelessly to educate the public. Working with Al Giddings, she coauthored a documentary film, Gentle Giants of the Pacific, which appeared on public television in 1980. In the same year, their book Exploring the Deep Frontier appeared. It includes a discussion of the "Jim dive." Her most recent scientific and environmental work has been to assess the environmental damage caused by the Prince William Sound oil spill and the results of Iraq's destruction of some 400 oil wells during the 1991 Persian Gulf War.

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