National Geographic Explorer Tierney Thys, marine biologist and adventurer extraordinaire, is perhaps best known for her work tracking massive 10-foot long, 5,000-pound ocean sunfish, or mola, around the globe. Her research on giant mola has spanned over a decade, and this breezy Northern Californian gives no indication of slowing down anytime soon. Not only is Tierney a champion for the ocean in the scientific world, but also in the world of theater and dance. Along with fellow ocean advocate, Sylvia Earle, the duo acted as lead science advisers for the performance Okeanos, a multidisciplinary portrait of ocean life through dance. Tierney conveys an inspiring message of hope, even amidst seemingly constant bad news. “I see incredible hope in the eyes of our children,” says Tierney. She is currently working with National Geographic Student Expeditions to create a summer marine-biology expedition for high-schoolers in Belize. Her work in the field, in classrooms, and on-line as the Daily Explorer in National Geographic’s Animal Jam, an interactive game for young explorers-in-training, makes Tierney one of our most well-rounded and well-respected Emerging Explorers.