Sylvia Earle is an American marine biologist and explorer. She has been a NatGeo explorer-in-residence since 1998. She was the first female chief scientist of the US National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration and was named TIME Magazine’s first Hero of the Planet in 1998. After receiving her PhD in 1966, and spending a year at Harvard as a research fellow, she was selected to lead the all female aquanauts team of Tektite II. She is often referred to as “Her Deepness” or “The Sturgeon General”. She began her initiative, Mission Blue, in 2009 after winning the TED Prize. The program aims to establish marine protected areas around the globe. She remains heavily involved in marine conservation and exploring deep ocean environments.