My son and I had the privilege of meeting Sylvia Earle in 2006 when I was working at a seminar in Paris, France, Humanity and the Biosphere (I'm on page xiii :-)). I appreciated our conversations throughout the week, and my son and I enjoyed a lovely dinner with her near the end of our stay.
One of her many accomplishments is she holds the record for the deepest solo dive. She's previously held high-level positions such as the Chief Scientist of NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), but at the time we met her she held the awesome title of Explorer-in-Residence at National Geographic. Could there be a cooler job title than that, especially at 70 years old?!? (She's now 77.)
I think she was my son's favorite person there; I know she was mine. She's definitely an inspiration and one of the most interesting women I've ever had the pleasure to meet.