More people have walked on the moon, than have been to some of the places that Jill’s exploration has taken her right here on the earth. From the most dangerous technical dives deep inside underwater caves, to searching for never before seen ecosystems inside Antarctic Icebergs, Jill’s curiosity and passion about our watery planet is the driving force in her life.

Jill’s accolades include induction into the Explorer’s Club and the inaugural class of the Women Diver’s Hall of Fame. She received the Wyland ICON Award, an honor she shares with several of her underwater heroes including Jacques Cousteau, Robert Ballard and Dr. Sylvia Earle. She was named a “Living Legend” by Sport Diver Magazine and selected as Scuba Diving Magazine’s “Sea Hero of the Year 2012.”


Photo Above: Darrin York drops in to Devil’s Eye Spring, just a short hop from Jill’s home near Ginnie Springs, Florida.

Right Photo: John Olivero enjoys the clarity of the water at Manatee Springs, but a darker secret lurks there. Native bottom vegetation has been replaced by filamentous algae that now dominates the nitrate laden water.


In recognition of her lifetime achievement, Jill was awarded the inaugural Medal for Exploration. Established by the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, the medal recognizes singular achievements and the pursuit of excellence by an outstanding Canadian explorer. 

Jill is a motivational speaker, prolific author of numerous books on technical diving and pioneer in the field of technical rebreather diving. Jill’s blog RebreatherPro, reaches an international audience and her books, including The Basics of Rebreather Diving and the Essentials of Cave Diving are on Amazon’s bestseller lists.


Photo Above: Brian Kakuk slips by a delicate chandelier of calcite hanging in a beautiful section of Dan’s Cave in Abaco. The orange color indicates layers of dust form the Sahara Desert, laid down in the rock structure during a previous dry epoch.

Right Photo: Scientist Jónína Herdís Ólafsdóttir swims in Iceland’s Thingvellir National Park between two tectonic plates that are slowly spreading apart. She is studying unique micro-organisms that thrive in the near-freezing water.

Photo Below: A team of cave divers explores Crystal Cave in Bermuda during the NOAA Bermuda Deep Caves project in 2011. Led by Dr. Tom Iliffe, the team was searching for new life in the island’s caves and on the steep walls of the volcanic seamounts nearby.


With her “We Are Water Project,” she has produced a documentary film, a live presentation and interactive web resources to help lead an educational effort for everyday behavioral changes that will lead to greater access to and preservation of our endangered fresh water resources. In support of this effort, Jill and husband Robert McClellan rode their bicycles 7000 km across Canada, from British Columbia to Newfoundland in 2013, meeting people and through presentations to groups large and small, spread the message of “Water Literacy.” Her website provides links to her exploration and water advocacy efforts.


Right Photo: Brian Kakuk delicately raises a skull from the mud in Sanctuary Cave on Andros. This skull, almost 250 feet deep was originally noted by cave explorer Rob Palmer. Over 20 years later, Kakuk’s team was asked to remove the skull of a likely Lucayan Indian, for scientists working with conservators in the Bahamas.

Photo Below: Helen Farr glides through the bedding plane entrance to Jug Hole in Ichetucknee Springs State Park in North Florida. The cave is accessible 6 months out of the year by a long hiking trail that leads to the spring.