Explorer-in-Residence, The Royal Canadian Geographical Society
More people have walked on the moon than have visited many of the places that Jill Heinerth has seen on Earth. From the most dangerous technical dives deep inside underwater caves, to searching for never-before-seen ecosystems inside giant Antarctic icebergs, Heinerth’s curiosity and passion about our watery planet is the driving force in her life. In her visually stunning presentations, Heinerth encourages audiences to reach beyond their limitations, challenge the unknown, and overcome their fears, while applying her practical experience to share lessons on risk management, discovery learning, failure, and collaboration strategies.
From desert oases of the Sahara to Baffin Bay’s cold waters, Heinerth has been the hands and eyes for climatologists, archaeologists, and engineers worldwide. She was named the first Explorer-in-Residence of The Royal Canadian Geographical Society in 2016. Her other many accolades include induction into the Explorer’s Club and the inaugural class of the Women Diver’s Hall of Fame. She is also a Fellow of the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame, Underwater Academy of Arts and Sciences, National Speleological Society, and the Explorers Club, which recently named her the recipient of the William Beebe Award for ocean exploration.
In recognition of her lifetime achievement, Heinerth received the Wyland ICON Award, an honor she shares with several of her underwater heroes including Jacques Cousteau, Robert Ballard and Dr. Sylvia Earle; and was also awarded the inaugural Sir Christopher Ondaatje Medal for Exploration, which recognizes singular achievements and the pursuit of excellence by an outstanding Canadian explorer.
Heinerth published her first book, Into the Planet, in 2019. It has been lauded by the Wall Street Journal, Oprah Magazine, and the New York Times. She is also a presenter on several radio and TV broadcasts worldwide.