Water Activist, Explorer Coming to Campus

September 27, 2013 - News Release

One of the world’s most accomplished underwater explorers and filmmakers will speak at the University of Guelph Oct. 8 during a “We are Water” event.

Jill Heinerth, who is also a photographer, author and water activist, will speak at 7 p.m. in the Science Complex. Admission is free for U of G students and $10 for the general public. Registration is available online.

“Jill’s life passion is educating the public about freshwater issues,” said Rich Moccia, associate vice-president (strategic partnerships) in the Office of Research, which is co-sponsoring the event.

“Her unique perspective is influenced by her explorations deep inside the Earth, helping us understand that our activities on the surface affect not only our drinking water but also the health of rivers, lakes and, ultimately, the world’s oceans.”

Water quality and protection is a major theme in the University’s BetterPlanet Project, added Moccia, an aquaculture professor and dive professional.

“Jill’s message of the endangered relationship between humans and the planet’s freshwater resources is a perfect fit. Hopefully, her visit will help elevate the importance of water stewardship here and around the world.”

An award-winning filmmaker, Heinerth wrote, produced and appeared in Water’s Journey, a PBS documentary series of the world’s water systems, and launched We are Water, a documentary project that teaches through film, photos and social media.

A pioneer in her field, Heinerth was among the inaugural class of the Women Diver’s Hall of Fame and inducted into the elite New York Explorer’s Club. She was named “Sea Hero of the Year” by Scuba Diving magazine and “A Living Legend” by Sport Diver magazine.

Her photography and writing have appeared in publications internationally, and she consults with Hollywood filmmakers on producing difficult underwater scenes. She has written three books on technical diving and regularly contributes to training materials.

At U of G, Heinerth will show underwater videos and photos; a Q-and-A session will follow.

The event is also supported by the Arts, Science and Technology Research Alliance, which brings together researchers interested in the meeting place of the sciences, humanities and arts.

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, 519-824-4120, Ext. 53338, or lhunt@uoguelph.ca; or Kevin Gonsalves, Ext. 56982, or kgonsalves@uoguelph.ca.

University of Guelph
50 Stone Road East
Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1