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Sullivan to share experiences as ‘Most Vertical Person on Earth’

By SCCF - | Jan 6, 2021

PHOTO PROVIDED Dr. Kathryn Sullivan

The Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation announced that Dr. Kathryn Sullivan will talk about her career as “the most vertical person on Earth” at the 3rd Annual Paul McCarthy Memorial Lecture Series via Zoom. The 45-minute lecture will be offered live on Feb. 4 at 5:30 p.m.

“We are honored to have Dr. Sullivan share her fascinating story of being the first person to both orbit the planet and reach its deepest point,” SCCF Chief Executive Officer Ryan Orgera said.

Aside from her amazing experiences of spending more than 500 hours in space and plunging seven miles down into the depths of the ocean, Sullivan has held a variety of senior executive positions.

“Her presidential appointments to the National Science Board and as chief scientist, deputy administrator and administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration also give her a singular perspective,” Orgera, who met Sullivan on several occasions when he worked for the United States Senate, said.

A distinguished scientist, astronaut and ocean explorer, Sullivan joined the NASA astronaut corps in 1978 and holds the distinction of being the first American woman to walk in space. Her submersible dive to the Challenger Deep in June of 2020 made her the first woman to dive to full ocean depth.

The Paul McCarthy Memorial Lecture Series was conceived by the Boler Family Foundation, which underwrites the speaker fees and expenses, as a way to honor family friend Paul McCarthy, founder of Captiva Cruises and an active presence on the islands for years. Feb. 6 would have been McCarthy’s 69th birthday.

Sullivan currently serves on the boards of International Paper, Accenture Federal Services, the National Audubon Society and Terra Alpha Investments, and she is a Senior Fellow at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies.

Sullivan earned a Bachelor of Science in earth sciences from the University of California at Santa Cruz and a Ph.D. in geology from Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia. She is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has been elected into the Astronaut Hall of Fame, Women Aviators Hall of Fame, Women Divers Hall of Fame and Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame.

Sullivan was recognized as one of the 46 distinguished First Women by Time Magazine in 2017, the 15 Women Changing the World by the World Economic Forum in 2015 and Time’s 100 Most Influential People in 2014. She has been awarded the Explorers Club Medal, the Rachel Carson Award, an Emmy and nine honorary degrees.

Sullivan is also the author of “Handprints on Hubble: An Astronaut’s Story of Invention,” which is the January selection for the SCCF’s nature-inspired book club, The Green Readers.

Event tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for students.

The lecture will not be available for recorded viewing.

To register, visit www.eventbrite.com/e/sccf-paul-mccarthy-memorial-lecture-series-dr-kathyrn-sullivan-tickets-135394924865.