Hillary Hauser

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Hillary Hauser
Palo Alto, California
OccupationWriter, environmental activist
EducationB.A. English Literature
Alma materUniversity of Washington
SubjectOceans, adventure, underwater diving, environment
Notable worksCall to Adventure
Notable awardsNOGI Award for Distinguished Service 2009 from the Academy of Underwater Arts & Sciences

Hillary Rika Hauser (born in 1944) is an American photojournalist and environmental activist with a focus on the oceansunderwater diving adventure, politics, and conservation. In 2009, in recognition of her ocean environmental work as it relates to underwater diving, Hauser received the NOGI Award for Distinguished Service from the Academy of Underwater Arts and Sciences.[1][2] In 2013 the Academy elected Hauser as president of its board of directors.[3]


An author, journalist and news reporter, Hauser has six published books about the sea and underwater exploration, as well as numerous articles in major periodicals including National Geographic, Geo, Islands, Esquire, Redbook, The Surfer’s Journal, Reader’s Digest and the Los Angeles Times. From 1969 through 1977 she was West Coast stringer for Ocean Science News Washington D.C., and from 1981 to 1986 was ocean/marine reporter for the Santa Barbara News-Press.[4]


Hauser started scuba diving in 1966 and was an editor of Skin Diver Magazine from 1969 to 1971.[5] In 1979 she became publicist for the Diving Equipment Manufacturers (now Marketing) Association (DEMA[6]), and came up with the bumper sticker program, "Discover Diving,"[7] a label that went on to become a major promotional jingle in the dive world, as well as a title to a magazine. She has made over 5,000 dives[8] and was inducted into the Women Divers Hall of Fame in 2000.[9]

Environmental activist[edit]

An environmental activist, in 1998, Hauser co-founded Heal the Ocean,[10] a 3,000-member[11] environmental advocacy group in Santa Barbara, California, and serves as its executive director. The organization focuses on wastewater technology as it impacts the ocean, facilitating wastewater treatment plant upgrade and removal of septic tanks from creeks, marshes, bays and beaches.[12][13][14] For this, and other work, Hauser and Heal the Ocean have been commended with recognition from the U.S. Congress, as well the Central Coast (California) Regional Water Quality Control Board (2006, 2008), the California State Assembly (2009), and in 2-13 more recently a Joint Assembly/Senate Resolution (No. 404) from the California Legislature (Jackson/Williams).[15] For their 15 years of working to remove septic systems from 7 miles of south Santa Barbara County beaches, including the world-famous Rincon surf break, Hauser and Heal the Ocean organization received a Commendation from the Regional Water Quality Control Board on January 19, 2015, and commendations also came from the California State Senate and the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors. Singer-songwriter Jack Johnson included Hauser on his 2017 list of 13 Coastal Heroes for Coastal Living Magazine.[16][17]

Classical pianist[edit]

A lifelong classical pianist, Hauser served as a classical music reviewer for the Santa Barbara News-Press from 1981 through 1996. In 2000 Hauser created, with John Robinson,[18] the record label Tavros Records],[19] through which she produced recordings of Rachmaninoff Trios[20] and Chopin solo piano works[21] that have won high ratings in the Penguin Guide to Recorded Classical Music.[22]