Sylvia Earle, a legendary oceanographer, acclaimed environmental scientist, and champion for ocean conservation, will deliver the inaugural F. Russell Cole Distinguished Lecture in Environmental Studies at Colby next week. “The Quest for Sustainable Seas” will demonstrate how the ocean provides the underpinning of our economy, health, security, and the existence of life itself. Once thought to be infinitely resilient, the ocean is in trouble and therefore, so are we.

The Cole Lectureship brings environmental leaders to Colby. It was generously endowed by Colby alumni Anne Clarke Wolff ’87 and Benjamin E. Wolff III ’86 to honor the retirement of Oak Professor of Biological Sciences emeritus F. Russell Cole, a champion and longtime director of the College’s Environmental Studies Program.

One of Colby’s leading teacher-scholars, Cole was instrumental in positioning Colby as a national leader in sustainability and environmental education.

The lecture will be at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 18, in Colby’s Page Commons Room in Cotter Union. For more information or tickets, contact Leslie Lima at

Watch a live stream of Earle’s remarks here.