efe-epaOviedo (Spain)

American oceanographer Sylvia Earle, named Hero for the Planet by Time magazine in 1998, has been bestowed the coveted Spanish Princess of Asturias Award for Concord, the platform's foundation announced Wednesday.

Dr. Earle (Gibbstown, New Jersey, United States, 1935), has dedicated her life to raising awareness about the benefits of conservation and has been responsible for hundreds of publications aimed at furthering our understanding of the world's oceans.

"With more than one hundred expeditions all over the world and more than 7,000 hours of research-related diving under her belt, in 1970 she headed the first team of ?aquanaut? women during the Tektite Project, who lived for two weeks at a depth of 18 meters (59 feet) off the Virgin Islands," read a statement from the Princess of Asturias Foundation.

She later set a solo record for diving to a depth of 1,000 meters, it added.

More recently Earle launched Mission Blue, an initiative that brings together almost 200 organizations to lead a conservation campaign in designated areas around the world dubbed Hope Spots.

A marine biologist, explorer, teacher, and researcher, Earle holds more than 25 honorary degrees and has given lectures in over 90 countries.