The First Woman Submarine Pilot – Dr. Cindy Lee Van Dover

The invention of submarines is definitely one of the most remarkable thinking of humankind in this world. Since they existed back in the ancient era, these types of equipments continue to capture the interest of millions of people worldwide. Different countries had utilized them in wars, explorations, ocean discoveries and other related works that need these inventions.

A submarine is an important watercraft invention that can operate longer for underwater purpose and capable of submersing without any trouble. The size will usually depend on the vessel and on what kind of purpose they will use it. Of course, there is also a submarine with interesting elements like robotic feature for remote operation while under the ocean.

If we talk about history, one of the most interesting events is the achievement of Dr. Cindy Lee Van Dover who is a native of Eatontown in New Jersey. Cindy became the first woman submarine pilot and a Harvey Smith Professor of the Biological Oceanography. According to the information about her, she is also the Division of Marine Science and Conservation chairperson at the Duke University.

Cindy achieved her degree in Environmental Science at Rutgers University in 1977.

From the information shared through schmidtocean.org, Dr. Van Dover has remarkable interest in ecology of chemosynthetic ecosystems, environment management as well as deep-sea conservation in exploring this living planet. In year 1982, she joined the first-ever biological exploration at the East Pacific Rise for hydrothermal vents. In 1985, she completed her degree in ecology at the UCLA and took up a degree for Biological Oceanography under the MIT/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute Joint Program and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

In year 1990, Dr. Lee Van Dover became the first-ever woman in this world to receive a license to pilot a submarine for a deep-sea exploration. She led the DVS Alvin watercraft to become the first woman submarine pilot in history. With this kind of achievement she gained, they awarded Cindy as the 49th recipient of the Naval Dolphinfish pin. During her prime, she completed almost 48 dives in the ocean as the head pilot of the DVS Alvin and participated in other dives as part of her fruitful career as a pioneer in the field of biology.

She became the Chair of Oversight Committee when they improve the Alvin. For the past years, Cindy had successfully completed her tasks in exploring different areas in the Arctic, Pacific, Atlantic, Southern and Indian Oceans.

As part of the exploration projects, she also showed great interest to learning about deep-ocean research works about the previous discoveries of ancient scientists and the many organisms under the ocean, among others. In year 2006, they also recognize her remarkable skills as a pioneer biologist by awarding her the directorship of the Duke University Marine Laboratory and she is the first woman to achieve such position.

“It’s funny to be director,” said Dr. Lee Van Dover in an interview back in 2007 as quoted by nytimes.com. “In the 1970s, I was a laboratory assistant here. To make ends meet, I slept in a tent on the island across the way and I canoed to work. Now, I’m directing research here,” she added.

Cindy is also popular for her writings because she was able to published hundreds of different articles that truly helped many readers who discovered her works. One of her prominent writings is “The Ecology of Deep-Sea Hydrothermal Vents: Princeton University Press, 2000” of which became the first-ever textbook for hydrothermal vents.

Besides her achievements in biology, they say that the 63-year-old native of New Jersey is also a Cross-Fit enthusiast and an active athlete.

 

Credit images: Photo Owners

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