HILLARY HAUSER started scuba diving in 1966, got certified in 1968 (NAUI card #54990), and moved to Los Angeles to become Skin Diver Magazine’s assistant editor. Underwater cameras were beginning to capture detailed pictures of undersea creatures, including tropical fishes, and Hillary began the popular “Fish of the Month” feature, which became The Book of Marine Fishes.
She has published six books about the sea, as well as numerous articles about underwater adventure for National Geographic, the Los Angeles Times Sunday Travel section, Esquire, Redbook, Geo, Readers Digest, The Surfer’s Journal, among others. She was West Coast stringer for Ocean Science News (Washington, D.C.) and a reporter on ocean issues for the Santa Barbara News-Press from 1981 to 1986. As a diving journalist, Hauser became known as the “Diver of the Strange and Bizarre,” for her exploration of the sinkholes of South Australia for National Geographic, diving into Devil’s Hole, a flooded earthquake fault in Death Valley, California, and her diving the notorious big wave reefs of the world: Waimea, Jaws, Pipeline and Mavericks.
In August 1998, in response to the terrible situation of local beaches being posted closed because of pollution, Hillary co-founded and is the Executive Director of Heal the Ocean, an internationally recognized citizens’ action group in Santa Barbara, California. Heal the Ocean (www.healtheocean.org) has accomplished trailblazing work, the kingpin being the removal of septic systems from seven miles of south Santa Barbara County coastline. For this, and other work, she has 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 2013 a Joint Assembly/Senate Resolution (No. 404) from the California Legislature (Jackson/Williams).
In 2009 Hillary received the venerated NOGI Award from the Academy of Underwater Arts and Sciences for Distinguished Service. She was an inaugural inductee into the Women Divers Hall of Fame in 2000.
Today Hillary continues her work to protect the ocean along with her writing. She is also a lifelong classical pianist and artist and lives in Santa Barbara, California, with her dog Wolfy.