Susan R. Eaton
Expedition Scientist - Geoscientist and Science Journalist
Susan R. Eaton lives in Calgary, Alberta, in the shadow of the Canadian Rocky Mountains.
A member of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society and the Explorers Club, Susan is a geologist, geophysicist, science journalist, conservationist and polar snorkeler.
Eight years ago, Susan suffered a scuba diving trauma that landed her in a hyperbaric chamber for three days, ending her 30-year diving career. Undaunted, her up-close-and-personal relationship with the ocean (which had included teaching scuba diving) didn’t end in the hyperbaric chamber.
Today, Susan explores the world’s oceans—from Antarctica to the Arctic—in the snorkel zone, a dynamic land-sea-air-ice interface where charismatic animals interact with snorkelers. She has snorkeled with chatty belugas Hudson Bay, migrating salmon in the Haida Gwaii Archipelago, and with penguins and charging leopard seals in Antarctica.
A member of the Canadian Science Writers’ Association, Susan reports on business, energy, the environment, science and technology, adventure travel and extreme snorkeling. Her articles and photographs have been widely published in American and Canadian magazines and newspapers. Susan will employ her media skills, obtaining national and international coverage during the 2015 Elysium Artists for the Arctic Expedition.
In 2010-2013, Susan participated—as a geoscientist and science journalist—in three science-based expeditions to the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and Antarctica. Readers followed her, virtually, as she studied the interplay of plate tectonic movements, glaciers, ocean change and climate change.
An alumnus of the 2010 Elysium Shackleton’s Antarctic Visual Epic Expedition, Susan is excited to rejoin Elysium’s science team, adding a geological and geophysical dimension to the investigations of ocean change and global warming.
Susan has had a successful career in the Canadian energy sector, attaining the position of Vice President of Exploration in several junior energy companies. Known for her business acumen, she’s been listed in the Who’s Who of Canadian Women Directory.
For the past 25 years, Susan has volunteered in Canada’s conservation not-for-profit sector. In 2014, Nature Canada included Susan amongst its 75 “Women for Nature” leaders. In recognition of her award-winning essay, entitled “Bite-size action steps empower individuals to protect the environment,” Susan won a coveted spot, running a leg of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Torch Relay.
During the summer of 2013, Susan traveled to Nunavut, to camp near the ice floe edge of Admiralty Inlet, northern Baffin Island. Her plan was to snorkel with the hundreds of belugas and narwhals that congregate, every spring, at this ice-water interface. But, the summer solstice super moon and high tides conspired in a ‘perfect storm,’ breaking off the ice sheet containing the tent camp, and turning it into a floating ice island. Traveling some 18 kilometres towards the open waters of the Northwest Passage, Susan and her expedition mates were air lifted to safety by the Canadian military, some 36 hours later…
Susan is the founder and leader of the all-female 2014-2016 Sedna Epic Expedition. In July 2014, she led Team Sedna—comprised of ten explorers, scientists and dive professionals from four countries—to the Canadian Arctic, Greenland and Iceland. Using salt water aquariums and remotely operated vehicles, Team Sedna conducted an educational outreach program in Nain, Labrador, bringing the ocean to eye level in this Inuit community. Team Sedna also conducted snorkel relays in waters up to 9,000 feet deep, demonstrating that snorkelers could travel long distances—in harsh arctic waters and in pack ice—using diver propulsion vehicles or “scooters.” This successful proof-of-concept expedition was a dry run for Team Sedna’s epic goal of snorkeling the 3,000-kilometre-long Northwest Passage in 2016, focusing global attention on disappearing sea ice in the Arctic and its impact on the aboriginal people’s way of life.