Dr. Sylvia Alice (Reade) Earle is an American marine biologist, explorer, author, and lecturer. She has been a National Geographic explorer-in-residence since 1998. Earle was the first female chief scientist of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and was named by Time Magazine as its first Hero for the Planet in 1998. In 1982 she and her husband, Graham Hawkes, an engineer and submersible designer, founded Deep Ocean Engineering to design, operate, support and consult on piloted and robotic subsea systems. In 1992, Earle founded Deep Ocean Exploration and Research (DOER Marine) to further advance marine engineering. In 2009, Earle won a TED Prize. With TED’s support, she launched Mission Blue, which aims to establish marine protected areas (dubbed “Hope Spots”) around the globe.