A world-renowned cave diver who has explored some of the deepest and most inaccessible parts of our planet is inviting the southern Alberta community into her world. Jill Heinerth has been announced as the speaker for the second annual Wider Horizons… An evening with… speaker series next month at Lethbridge College.

Heinerth will be at the college on March 12 for a pair of exclusive speaking engagements. A session open to the public will take place at 7 p.m. in the IB Theatres. A separate session, open only to Lethbridge College students, will take place during the day.

Her dynamic multimedia presentation will inspire audiences to reach beyond their limitations, challenge the unknown and overcome their fears. She shares remarkable experiences and lessons learned in the deadly arena of extreme underwater exploration and adventure filmmaking, applying her practical knowledge to share lessons on risk management, discovery learning, failure, and collaboration strategies.

“Jill Heinerth’s story resonates with both our campus and our community as a whole,” says Dr. Paula Burns, Lethbridge College President and CEO. “She is a Canadian who has converted her skills and passion into a career that has taken her around the world – and to places no one else has gone. But it’s how she’s able to relate lessons from these extraordinary adventures to her everyday life that creates a chance for our students to learn and our community to be inspired.”

Courtesy: Jill Heinerth

Originally from Toronto, Heinerth began her career as a diver and underwater photographer. After shifting her specialization to cave diving, Heinerth found a niche for exploring areas where few others would dare to go. She states that more people have walked on the moon than have been to some of the places she has explored on earth.

She is a veteran of over 30 years of filming, photography and exploration on projects in submerged caves around the world with National Geographic, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, various educational institutions and television networks worldwide. She is the inaugural Explorer in Residence for the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, a recipient of Canada’s prestigious Polar Medal and earned the diving world’s highest award from the Academy of Underwater Arts and Sciences, the NOGI.

Heinerth’s book, Into the Planet: My life as a cave diver was published in 2019. One of her goals is to educate and inspire people about Earth’s fascinating underwater world.

Wider Horizons: An evening with… is Lethbridge College’s community speaker series that celebrates diverse stories and perspectives from world-renowned speakers. This series aims to educate its attendees, engage the community and provide opportunities for thoughtful dialogue on issues important to our students and community. Last year’s inaugural event featured former White House speech writer and political pundit David Frum.

The series is made possible thanks to a $100,000 gift from long-time Lethbridge businessman and philanthropist Bruce McKillop. His gift goes to support the Wider Horizons speaker series; lunch and learns for academic programs who wish to bring in local speakers for students; and six $1,000 student awards per year that recogzine the importance of students’ “perseverance and entrepreneurial” attributes in obtaining an education and finding success in their careers.

Tickets for Wider Horizons… An evening with Jill Heinerth are on sale now. Quantities are limited and can be purchased through the Lethbridge College website. Tickets are $25 for the general public and $20 for Lethbridge College students and alumni.