Children's LiteratureSylvia Earle, a foremost explorer, pioneer in sea study, and one of the staunchest defenders of the sea and its creatures, is wellserved by this readable entry in the "Lerner Biography" series. When young, she was fascinated by animals and science in general, and her family's move to Florida presented her with just the opportunity to study the ocean firsthand. She began her career in marine science as a teenager when she learned to use diving gear and enrolled in a summer marine biology course at Florida State. Advanced degrees followed at a time when women scientists were so unusual that one faculty almost denied her a fellowship on the grounds that she would only end up becoming a housewife. Today's girls owe much to pioneers like Sylvia Earle for her steadfast forging of a career in science that was formerly thought of as men's territory. With over 6,000 diving hours logged, Earle lived under the ocean in the 1970s Tektite project and has studied all sorts of underwater creatures from algae to white whales. Her work with whales is chronicled in the film Gentle Giants of the Pacific, which has been shown in over 20 nations. Her desire to walk on the ocean floor led her to the "Jim suit", after which she and others developed the underwater explorer vehicle called Deep Rover. Married four times, Earle seems, says the author, married to the sea. Today, she is Explorer in Residence at the National Geographic Society in Washington, D.C. and a noted environment spokesperson. Earle's own book Dive (National Geographic, 1999) covers some of the same scientific material but for a younger reader. Illustrated with color photographs. An index, related bibliography, and web site resources areincluded. 2001, Lerner, Ages 9 to 14, $25.26. Reviewer: Susan Hepler
School Library Journal - School Library JournalGr 5-9-A readable, reasonably detailed biography of the marine biologist and deep-sea diver who, like Jacques Cousteau, has been a major guardian voice for our planetary ocean. Baker's rather staid text accurately follows Earle's career, from her childhood fascination with a backyard pond to her many projects and expeditions, and ends in 1998, when she was named Explorer in Residence at the National Geographic Society. Numerous black-and-white and full-color photographs document Earle's life, from writing letters to Santa Claus with her brothers to exploring the Persian Gulf after the Gulf War. This book conveys the subject's enthusiasm for diving and her daring in undertaking dangerous projects, but for an exposure to her personal keenness, team it with Earle's own simpler Dive! My Adventures in the Deep Frontier (National Geographic, 1999).-Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
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