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A WOMAN TO HONOR

Every industry is made up of three main kinds of people: participants, leaders, and pioneers. The vast majority of individuals that comprise a given industry are participants or members, who generally follow the actions and recommenda-tions of a much smaller number of industry leaders, none of whom would be in their positions of authority if it weren’t for the drive, vision, and determination of just a few pioneers. Lynn Funkhouser is one of these pioneers in the world of scuba diving and dive travel, as well as being an internationally published photographer, author, lecturer, environmentalist, and adventuress.

Lynn’s diving career began not in the water but in the air. She worked as a TWA flight attendant for many years, a position which she used to travel and dive the world before turning in her wings to devote herself full-time to a life of diving and photography. At the onset of her career, recreational dive equipment and technology was an emerging and rapidly changing field that Lynn played an integral role in shaping through testing of dive gear, while paving new ground as one of only a handful of ambitious and highly qualified water women like Zale Parry and Dr. Sylvia Earle, in this male dominated industry.

Of the many beautiful destinations Lynn has explored, the Philippines captivated her attention the most, and for good reason. The Philippines are comprised of 7,107 islands, making up the northernmost point of the Coral Triangle, an ocean area of approximately 2.3 million square miles that

encompasses six countries in the Indo-Pacific: Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, the Solomon Islands, and Timor-Leste. The Coral Triangle (CT) accounts for less than 1% of the world’s ocean surface area but is home to one-third of the world’s

coral reefs. The CT is the only place on Earth that rivals the biodiversity of the Amazon Rainforest in both species richness and environmental importance and the Philippines is considered by scientists to be “the Center of the Center of Marine Diversity”. It’s easy to see why Lynn has spent 2 months there every year since 1975, diving over 260 islands, and has taken countless photographs documenting the incredible variety of life found in these waters.

Lynn Funkhouser is an inaugural member of the Women Divers Hall of Fame and was recently named the Beneath the Sea 2014 Diver of the Year in Arts. As a founder of the International Marinelife Alliance (1986), Lynn went under-cover to photograph and document fishermen using blast fishing and cyanide to capture fish, living alone in a hut on the island with them.

Written by Alexandra Rose

Lynn surrounded by her precious underwater camera gear

LYNN FUNKHOUSER The Story of an Ocean Pioneer

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