Cover image for Dive! : my adventures in the deep frontier
Dive! : my adventures in the deep frontier
Earle, Sylvia A., 1935-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Washington, DC : National Geographic Society, 1999.
Physical Description:
64 pages : color illustrations, color map ; 29 cm
The author relates some of her adventures studying and exploring the world's oceans, including tracking whales, living in an underwater laboratory, and helping to design a deep water submarine.
General Note:
Includes index.
Reading Level:
1230 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 7.0 1.0 43704.

Reading Counts RC 6-8 7.1 3 Quiz: 18798 Guided reading level: W.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
GC65 .E184 1999 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
GC65 .E184 1999 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf
GC65 .E184 1999 Juvenile Non-Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



Children join Earle as she ventures into the ocean's depths.

-- Outstanding Science Trade Book for Children

Author Notes

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.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 3^-7, younger for reading aloud. "I was alone as a human being but surrounded by living things whose existence was unknown to most of my species." In this extraordinary photo-essay, an eminent marine biologist and ocean explorer combines personal adventure and scientific fact with glorious color action pictures, many of which show her right there, hundreds of feet underwater, eye to eye with everything from a humpback whale to a wild dolphin and a squid. Like Dian Fossey and Jane Goodall, Earle wants to study wild creatures in their natural habitat ("on their home ground," not just as "samples that came up in nets"). She tells how she has walked 1,250 feet in a special diving suit, explored deep coral reefs in a special submersible machine, and lived for two weeks in an underwater "space station." Even the chapter titles draw you in: "Going Deeper," Staying Longer," "Onward and Downward." Earle communicates her excitement and her sense of wonder at the amazing diversity of life in the sea, and she also gives detailed information, including maps, charts, a time line of ocean exploration, a glossary, and a list of resources. The message that grows out of this story is a call not only for conservation but also for knowledge, for more exploration of the new frontier. --Hazel Rochman

Publisher's Weekly Review

Marine biologist Earle (Sea Change) makes a compelling argument that the ocean, rather than space, is the next frontier waiting to be explored in this personable photoessay. In the opening chapter, Earle tells how her curiosity about what lives in the sea was first sparked and describes her delight at early underwater excursions using a snorkel and, later, scuba gear. Four subsequent chapters recount seminal events in Earle's career: studying whales in their natural habitats from Hawaii to Glacier Bay, Alaska; spending two weeks working as an "aquanaut" in the Tektite underwater laboratory, 50 feet below the surface of the ocean; sporting a special underwater diving suit called "Jim" (originally designed for salvage operations) to conduct research at 1250 feet; and helping to create Deep Rover, a mini-submarine able to descend to depths of 3000 feet. The book's final chapter, a plea for protecting the earth's oceans from becoming a dumping ground, is eloquent but does not flow naturally from the rest of the book. Earle writes with immediacy and specificity; readers will feel as if they are swimming along beside her as she forays into the ocean's darkest depths. Close-ups of a humpback whale's tail or a jellyfish illustrate points in the text; photographs like the one of Earle walking the sea floor off of the Bahama Islands in her "Jim" diving suit next to an American flag drive home her point that sea and space are equally worth exploring. Ages 8-up. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 3-7-A marine biologist, Earle shares her lifelong passion for ocean exploration and conservation. From childhood observations of creatures on shore to journeys thousands of feet below the surface in a submersible she helped design, Earle has retained her fascination with marine life. Numerous photos document various forays under the sea. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.