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Much of my whole life's direction was shaped by the thoughts and image of Jacques Cousteau. Growing up in a land-locked section of Canada, on a little urban street, in the 1960s and 1970s my world became the ocean planet through the magic of Cousteau's TV programs. In the 1970s I obtained my diving license before my driving license, and I went to university to a marine biology program. In the 70s and early 80s my mind expanded as I immersed myself in the biological sciences. I didn’t complete the marine biology specialization, graduating instead with an Honours Unspecialized with a Minor in Zoology, largely because of the horror I felt in having to take multiple courses on fisheries and “Marine Resources Utilization” – that was NOT what I was there for. Graduate school followed, and then a post-doctoral fellowship at the Durrell Institute for Conservation and Ecology in Canterbury, UK. Now, 18 years later, I have been working steadily and successfully in the not-for-profit conservation, education and scientific fields, culminating in professional citations from my peers and in 2010 the local environmentalist of the year award. However, I still look back fondly to the childhood days of adventure, lived in front of the TV tube, when the world seemed fresh and exciting and in my boyhood imagination I walked, and dove, with Jacques Cousteau.

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June 11 is the 101st anniversary of Jacques Cousteau, the Commandant, the man with the red cap who opened our eyes to the ocean like nobody did before. And no one after him has been able to share the passion about the ocean and all the life in it, and making us fall in love with it like he did. Cousteau was the first global environmental celebrity, as known worldwide as all-time soccer stars and movie stars.

Thanks in great part to Jacques Cousteau, I am now a National Geographic explorer. When I was a child growing up in Spain, Cousteau was everything: my hero, role model, and inspiration. I couldn’t wait for Sunday evening to arrive so that I could watch a new episode of “The underwater world of Jacques Cousteau.” I dreamed about being one of the Calypso divers, exploring exotic locations and making new discoveries every day. While my friends had posters of soccer players on their bedroom walls, I had photos of the red-capped divers diving in remote coral reefs, or climbing an iceberg in Antarctica. My friends dreamed about driving powerful cars and motorbikes; I dreamed of having a bunk bed on the Calypso.

That childhood dream fueled my passion for the sea for years to come. I studied biology, got a PhD in marine ecology, and then became a Professor of Oceanography and spend 10 years in academia, before joining the ranks of the National Geographic Society. I never met the Commandant, but now I am living my childhood dream, exploring and studying remote corners of the ocean, and inspiring leaders to save the last wild places of the ocean before they succumb under the global human footprint. Many people helped me along the way, but that Cousteau figure was always there, keeping me in that perpetual state of curiosity that children have and adults tend to lose.
Enric Sala
National Geographic Explorer

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Hi Everyone,

I'm one of three finalists selected by Scientists at Scripps Oceanography to name a new species of Deep Sea Worm. Support a fellow Cousteau Diver and Vote for me! Here is the link:

Brian A. Witkin

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we can save the planet earth , les do it¡¡¡¡

Joe Gonzalez

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The website is great! What an awesome opportunity to connect with divers all over the world in a unified effort to protect our oceans.


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Sevgili Cousteau liderli?inde ve hala devam eden bu sistemin bir parças? olmama sebep oldu?unuz için te?ekkürler.
Ruhun ?aad olsun sevgili Cousteau.


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