Expert technical diver, writer, photographer and filmmaker Jill Heinerth receives Canada’s Polar Medal March 9 in a ceremony in London, Ontario. It is awarded to a Canadian who renders extraordinary service in the polar regions, creates better understanding of our northern communities and people, and participates in exploration, scientific research and security of our northern sovereignty.
Heinerth is the inaugural explorer-in-residence for the Royal Canadian Geographical Society. The society created it to foster greater awareness among Canadians of the expeditions and field research being carried out by our top explorers, scientists and conservationists. The discoveries, new data, stories and images that they bring back from the field to share with the public and the scientific community are at the core of the society’s mission of making Canada better known to Canadians and to the world.
Jill is one of the leading underwater cave divers in the world. Cave diving is a high-risk activity but that did not stop her from helping researchers unlock the history of climate change and improve understanding of the underwater ecosystems in the Arctic and the Antarctic. Heinerth is considered one of the most accomplished explorers and underwater cave divers in the world.