Lynn Funkhouser

Lynn Funkhouser is an internationally published photographer, author, lecturer, environmentalist, world adventuress, and leader in Philippine dive travel. She is an ardent proponent, eloquent spokesperson, and effective catalyst for protection of the aquatic environment.

As a consummate photographer and environmental advocate, Lynn’s images in magazines, books, calendars and advertisements make clear her commitment of protecting the natural world. Audubon, Animals, Action Asia, International Wildlife, Time, Newsweek, and National Geographic Publications are but a few of the influential venues in which Lynn’s dramatic photos appear, usually featured in articles covering environmental issues. Still, Lynn isn’t satisfied with simply making visual statements: her fearless documentation of destructive fishing practices, creation of an international environmental entity -the International Marinelife Alliance- to certify sustainable fishing practices, and her dynamic presentations make clear her determination to transform commitment and artistry into results

Lynn has been diving & photographing in the Philippines 2 months a year, every year, since 1976. Having dived over 260 islands, she has become an expert on diving in the Philippines and often works with the Philippine Dept. of Tourism to promote diving. Her photos are used in their booths at many of the dive conferences and she does presentations on the Philippines at venues throughout the world.

John G. Shedd Aquarium of Chicago put Lynn’s Philippines knowledge to extensive use, contracting her as a special consultant for their spectacular Wild Reef exhibit, a $49 million, permanent exhibit on Apo Island in the Philippines. Starting in 1995, and over the course of eight years, Lynn participated in planning sessions, and guided Shedd staff on research trips to the Philippines, in preparation for the exhibit. Many photos featured throughout the exhibit are hers. In addition, her photos were used to model the exhibit’s astonishingly realistic looking synthetic corals, including 26 species that had never before been replicated. Opened in 2003, the project occupies a 1500 sq. ft. addition, showcasing the Apo Island Marine Reserve, distinguished as being one of the best-run community organized marine sanctuaries in the world.

Lynn was inducted into the inaugural Women Divers Hall of Fame, 2000, which includes pioneers, leaders, innovators and world record holders in the international diving community. In 2008 she was inducted into the Society of Woman Geographers. SWG members are women who love adventure and have made significant contributions to the world’s knowledge. Records of each member’s professional and personal accomplishments are available through the Library of Congress, available to scholars worldwide. Fellow honorees include Amelia Earhart, Eugenie Clark, Sylvia Earle, Jane Goodall, Margaret Mead, and Pearl Buck.

Other awards include: Lifetime Achievement Award, Philippine Aquatic and Marinelife Conservationist’s Assn., Inc., 1986, for “outstanding contributions on behalf of conservation and preservation of the marine environment of the Philippines”; Environmental Awareness Award, SeaSpace/PADI, 1994, for recognition of outstanding effort in the cause of marine conservation & education “for her continuing efforts promoting reef preservation in the Philippines and around the world”; Ambassador of Good Will, Illinois Council of Skin and Scuba Diving, 2006, specifically created to honor Lynn’s support of local dive clubs and advocacy of reef protection around the world; Platinum Pro Plus 5000 Diver, SCUBA Schools International, 1993, honoring the dedication and commitment of diving’s pioneers and industry-makers, the award recognized Lynn’s 2500 dives on induction since her first dive in 1967, and Lynn’s significant contributions to the recreational diving community. She now has over 5400 dives, over 3000 of which were made on Philippine reefs. She has also received the Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame, Napoleon Area Schools, 2009, and Accomplished Graduate Award, Bowling Green State University, 2008.

As an environmentalist, Lynn is committed to making a difference on this planet through her images and presentations. One of Lynn’s greatest joys is showing Filipinos their country’s extraordinary treasures and making them proud. She especially appreciates the wonderful hospitality of all the Filipino people she has encountered in her adventures!