Jill Heinerth

Jill Heinerth

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, Jill’s curiosity and passion about our watery planet is the driving force in her life. In her remarkable presentations, Jill encourages audiences to reach beyond their limitations, challenge the unknown, and overcome their fears, while applying her practical experience when it comes to lessons on risk management, discovery learning, failure, and collaboration strategies.

Named the first Explorer-in-Residence of The Royal Canadian Geographical Society in 2016, Jill’s other many accolades include induction into the Explorer’s Club and the inaugural class of the Women Diver’s Hall of Fame. She received the Wyland ICON Award, an honor she shares with several of her underwater heroes including Jacques Cousteau, Robert Ballard and Dr. Sylvia Earle. She was named a “Living Legend” by Sport Diver Magazine and selected as Scuba Diving magazine’s “Sea Hero of the Year 2012.”

In recognition of her lifetime achievement, Jill was also awarded the inaugural Sir Christopher Ondaatje Medal for Exploration. Established by the Royal Canadian Geographical Society in 2013, the medal recognizes singular achievements and the pursuit of excellence by an outstanding Canadian explorer.


Explorations in Excellence

More people have walked on the moon than have been to the places Jill Heinerth has explored right here on earth. Instead of following maps, she has blazed a trail into the planet exploring lava tubes beneath the ocean floor, submerged caves inside icebergs and the deepest recesses of the world’s oceans.

Heinerth’s dynamic multimedia presentation inspires audiences to reach beyond their limitations, challenge the unknown, and overcome their fears. She shares remarkable experiences and lessons learned in the deadly arena of extreme underwater exploration and adventure filmmaking, applying her practical knowledge to share lessons on risk management, discovery learning, failure, and collaboration strategies.

Drawing on decades of planning extreme underwater life support missions, she presents basic principles and practices for ensuring success in challenging circumstances.

Dive into Fear

There are no handbooks for trailblazers, and too often we allow fear of the unknown to limit us from trying new things. Fear is a survival instinct that helps us avoid danger, but it may also freeze us in our tracks or cause us to retreat.

World-renowned cave diver Jill Heinerth tests the limits of human endurance, risking her life with each mission while exploring and documenting underwater caves. She works in a world where fear must be reconciled at every tight, claustrophobic turn. To not only survive in this world but excel, Heinerth has learned how to master fear. The lessons she has learned about risk assessment from more than 30 years of extreme expeditions offer an edge of your seat thrill woven together with important messages about how to transcend fear and achieve success, no matter the endeavor.

We Are Water

As a cave diving explorer, Jill Heinerth swims through the veins of mother Earth, exploring the life force of the planet. What she has witnessed in more than 30 years of expeditionary diving is that although there is plenty of water on our big blue planet, humanity is quickly running out of clean, reliable sources we can afford.

As an advocate for water literacy, Heinerth uses her expedition stories to help the audience reconnect with their watery origins and become better stewards for the environment. She reveals the water’s journey through the planet to inform people about where our water comes from, how our actions sometimes can spoil it, and how we can preserve it for future generations.

Dive into The Life You Want to Lead

Extreme cave diver and explorer Jill Heinerth shares her adventurous life experiences to encourage and empower every woman to take on new challenges with confidence.

Early in her corporate career, Heinerth shifted gears, pivoting to a remarkable calling as a creative professional in the underwater world. But it was not an easy path. Battling misogyny, financial uncertainty, and a devastating diving accident, she emerged to build a successful life on a road less traveled. She shares her original vision about mapping a path to success in a non-traditional role while sharing heartwarming human stories about the challenges she encountered and overcame along her journey.