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

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

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]



  1. ^ AUAS: NOGI Hillary Hauser Distinguished Service 2009[dead link]
  2. ^ Divers News Wire: NOGI Recipients Announced by AUAS[dead link]
  3. ^ Academy of Underwater Arts & Science (8 December 2013). "Hillary Hauser, Bob Evans Elected to Academy of Underwater Arts & Sciences Positions". www.noozhawk.com.
  4. ^ "Hillary Hauser: President and Executive Director". www.healtheocean.org. Retrieved 6 September 2022.
  5. ^ Divers Alert Network: AUAS Announces 2009 NOGI Recipients[dead link]
  6. ^ DEMA[not specific enough to verify]
  7. ^ Reaching Out: A History of the Diving Equipment Manufacturers Association by Mark Dorfman[dead link]
  8. ^ "Platinum Pro 5000 Diver Profile: Hillary Hauser". www.divessi.com.
  9. ^ "Women Diver's Hall of Fame: member roster". www.wdhof.org. Archived 2010-02-17 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ "History". Heal the Ocean. Retrieved 6 September 2020.
  11. ^ Heal the Ocean Founder Hillary Hauser Honored..., March 30, 2010
  12. ^ Heal the Ocean Stays the Course in Finding Pollution Solutions by Tracy Shawn
  13. ^ "In Beach Enclave, Affluent Are Split Over Effluent" by Regan Morris, The New York Times, September 25, 2007
  14. ^ "Septic to Sewer, Sewer to Lawsuit?" by Ethan Stewart, Santa Barbara Independent, May 9, 2008
  15. ^ AUAS: NOGI Hillary Hauser Distinguished Service 2009
  16. ^ "Meet 13 Ocean Heroes Fighting to Save Our Seas - Coastal Living". Archived from the original on 2019-01-17. Retrieved 2018-02-07.
  17. ^ "This Ocean Hero Has Been Fighting for Our Seas for Nearly 20 Years - Coastal Living". Archived from the original on 2018-01-25. Retrieved 2018-01-24.
  18. ^ John Robinson
  19. ^ Tavros Records
  20. ^ Rachmaninoff Trios
  21. ^ Chopin solo piano works
  22. ^ AllMusic.com Credits for Artist Hillary Hauser