Aurora Expeditions dedicates its new expedition ship Sylvia Earle to leading female conservationists

Aurora Expeditions (Logo)Australia’s award-winning expedition operator, Aurora Expeditions, is celebrating International Women’s Day 2021 by dedicating its new expedition ship to five of the world’s leading female conservationists.

The new purpose-built ship Sylvia Earle, launching in October 2021, is named after the world-renowned marine biologist, oceanographer and explorer Dr. Sylvia Earle.

In a world first, each individual deck will bear the name of other pioneering female conservationists; Dr. Carden Wallace AM, Joanna Ruxton, Sharon Kwok and Bernadette Demientieff, along with the Deck 5 dedicated to Dr. Sylvia Earle herself.

“Female scientists are leading the way in global conservation initiatives and we want to honour these five extraordinary women who work tirelessly to make the world a better place,” says Aurora Expeditions CEO Monique Ponfoort.

“The scientists we have chosen are inspiring leaders in their fields, and as part of the deck theming, we will educate our expeditioners on the impressive and important conservation work they continue to do. We are so proud to be able to honour these incredibly talented women,” she adds.

Below is the line up of incredible women:

Dr. Sylvia Earle: ‘Hero of the Planet’ and founder of The Sylvia Earle Alliance and Mission Blue.
Dr. Sylvia Earle was the first female chief scientist of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; has been a National Geographic explorer-in-residence since 1998; and was named by Time magazine as its first ‘Hero of the Planet’. Her own conservation initiative Mission Blue is creating a global network of marine protected areas known as ‘Hope Spots’, and her new Deep Hope project aims to deliver two ‘deep-dive’ submersibles to collect crucial scientific data of as-yet unseen ocean depths.

Bernadette Demientieff: Arctic Wildlife Guardian and Executive Director of the Gwich’in Steering Committee.
Bernadette is a passionate mother/advocate for the rights of Alaska and the Gwich’in people of northeast Alaska and northwest Canada. As Executive Director of the Gwich’in Steering Committee, she speaks for the protection of the calving grounds of the porcupine caribou herd known as the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge against any destruction from oil and gas companies.

Dr. Carden Wallace AM: Coral Conservation Champion and Principal Scientist Emeritus at the Queensland Museum.
Principal Scientist Emeritus at the Queensland Museum since 2014, Dr. Wallace is a preeminent Australian scientist and the first curator/director of the Museum of Tropical Queensland from 1987 to 2003. She is an expert on corals and was part of a team that discovered the mass spawning of coral in 1984. In recognition of her contribution to marine science, Dr. Carden Wallace was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in 2021.

Joanna Ruxton: Plastic Free Pioneer and co-founder of Plastic Oceans UK (now known as Ocean Generation).
Joanna has the rare distinction of being hailed as ‘the person responsible for the plastic-free movement’ by Sir David Attenborough himself. She spent many years at the BBC Natural History Unit working on the first ‘Blue Planet’ documentary series. Her award-winning film ‘A Plastic Ocean,’ released in 2016, shows the devastating impact of plastic waste on ocean ecosystems and has helped to turn the tide against single-use plastics. In 2009, Joanna co-founded Plastic Oceans UK (now known as Ocean Generation), with the goal of inspiring an inclusive global movement to restore a sustainable relationship between humanity and oceans.

Sharon Kwok: Future Generation Educator and founder of AquaMeridian Conservation & Education Foundation.
In 2013, Sharon founded the AquaMeridian Conservation and Education Foundation to promote marine education and inspire the next generation to protect and preserve ocean biodiversity. Sharon continues her advocacy as a Mission Blue and WildAid board member and as Executive Director of the AquaMeridian Conservation & Education Foundation.

Each deck will educate guest on board on the impressive and important conservation work that these incredible women carry out and in turn it will support Aurora Expeditions’ hopes of encouraging each guest to become an Ambassador for the planet through on-board enrichment and excursions with our expedition team of experts.

(Aurora Expeditions)


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