Jean-Michel Cousteau, the son of famous oceanographer Jean-Michel Cousteau, worked alongside his father for decades and later followed in his footsteps by becoming an environmentalist and filmmaker about ocean life. Now, the younger Cousteau has written a retrospective book about his father life and leadership called "My Father, the Captain."
Jean-Michel Cousteau says his father was both "fun" and "tough," demanding much from himself and from his research crew. The elder Cousteau also had a keen sense of adventure, never sure of what he was searching for until he found it. As a husband and father, he took his entire family on scuba diving outings, teaching them to dive as they went and helping them love the ocean as he did.
Jean-Michel Cousteau believes his father's legacy was one of teaching the world to understand and respect its oceans. He also taught humans to comprehend their place in the larger ocean ecosystem and realize that "every human being on the planet depends on the quality of that ocean for the quality of our lives."
"It was this sense of discovery, which is obviously related to adventure, because if you don't know what you are going to find out there, it's adventure. So in many ways I have inherited that, because I'm always intrigued. I want to see what's on the other side of the hill." - Jean-Michel Cousteau, oceanographer and environmentalist
"I think the public doesn't know that he was determined and nothing was going to stop him. And if he wanted to go there and didn't have the equipment, he will invent it. If he wanted to go where it's difficult to go, he would find a way to get there." - Jean-Michel Cousteau, oceanographer and environmentalist
1. What is oceanography?
2. What sorts of things threaten the world's oceans today?
3. What does the ocean provide to humans?
1. What do you think it means to have a "sense of adventure?" According to the video, how did Jacques Cousteau demonstrate that he was adventurous?
2. Jean-Michel Cousteau says that "The next time you drink a glass of water, you are drinking the ocean." What does he mean by that?
3. Give some examples of how you and your everyday activities might be tied to the ocean. How could polluting the ocean, as Cousteau describes, affect the quality of those activities for you?