NOGI Awards

The NOGI Awards
Awarded for Recognition as belonging to “a select cadre of divers and undersea luminaries who rank at the top of their fields in one of four categories:
Arts, Science, Sports/Education, Distinguished service”.[1]
Country United States of America
Presented by Academy of Underwater Arts and Sciences (since 1993)
Underwater Society of America (1960-1992)
First awarded 1960
2012 (Environment)
Official website

The NOGI Awards is an award presented annually by the Academy of Underwater Arts and Sciences to diving luminaries[2] and is "considered the Oscar of the ocean world."[3][4] Selection of recipients is based on their record of accomplishments and excellence in the diving world. NOGI awards are given out to world-class standouts of the diving community who have distinguished themselves and made a global impact on diving in one or more of four general categories: Science, Arts, Sports/Education, and Environment. A fifth NOGI is given for Distinguished Service.[5]


The NOGI awards originally came in existence as part of the trophy system offered during the 1950s for the underwater division of the New Orleans Grand Isle Fishing Tournament. NOGI is the acronym for the first four words of the tournament's name. In its current form, the NOGI awards date back to 1960 when Jay Albeanese and Louis Cuccia of New Orleans approached the Underwater Society of America for its sanction of an "award to annually recognize leaders in the field of skin and SCUBA diving in four categories." Since 1993, the NOGI awards scheme has been the responsibility of the Academy of Underwater Arts & Sciences. In 2013, a fifth category "Environment" was added to the awards scheme.[6][7][8]

Academy of Underwater Arts and Sciences

The Academy of Underwater Arts and Sciences (AUAS) was formed in 1993 for the purpose of administering the NOGI Awards. It has status as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Its mission is to be:[1]

a 501(c)3 non-profit, international, multi-disciplinary organization dedicated to recognizing pioneers and leaders who have had a significant impact on the exploration, enjoyment, safety, and preservation of the underwater world. The AUAS is committed to supporting its members as they pass on the stewardship of the sea to future generations.

NOGI categories

There are five categories of NOGIs.[5]

Science: Recipients in the Science category include renowned underwater archaeologists such as E. Lee Spence and George Bass, inventors like Edwin Link, undersea explorers like Sylvia Earle and Robert Ballard, doctors involved in hyperbaric medicine such as Joseph MacInnis, as well as marine biologists, and other marine scientists.

Arts: Awardees in the Arts category have included internationally known filmmakers such as James Cameron and Stan Waterman, marine artists like Guy Harvey, and photographers such as National Geographic's Emory Kristof.

Sports/education: The Sports & Education category recognizes distinguished diver athletes like Ron Taylor, educators like John Christopher Fine and even actors like Lloyd Bridges and Zale Parry who were pioneer scuba divers and portrayed divers on TV's Sea Hunt, and thus helped to encourage and grow the public's interest in diving.

Environment: The newest category of NOGI which was added in 2013 is for Environment and its first recipient is Dr. G. Carleton Ray. It is meant to recognize divers who, well beyond their normal employment, have led efforts to protect the world's underwater heritage.

Distinguished service: Distinguished Service recipients have typically included world-renowned divers like Captain Jacques-Yves Cousteau and Astronaut/Aquanaut Scott Carpenter but they have also included lesser known people whose professional, volunteer and/or private work has truly had a major impact on the diving industry and/or the global diving community in general.

The statuette

The original NOGI statuettes were designed by New Orleans sculptor Vero Puccio, who hand carved them out of mahogany (one report says balsa) and later cast them out of polywood. Since 2005, when the statuette, which shows a pedestal mounted skin diver standing with upraised arms holding a plaque reading "NOGI," was updated by marine wildlife artist Wyland (who is also a NOGI winner), the statuettes have been made of cast lucite.[9][10]

NOGI Award recipients

The following is a listing of all NOGI recipients since its creation in 1960.[11]

Award Year Science Arts Sports/Education Distinguished Service Environment
2015 Dr. Richard Lutz[12] Clive Cussler[12] Bob Kirby[12] Rodney Fox[12] Dr. Gregory Stone[12]
2014 Richard D. Vann, PhD[13] Richard Ellis[13] Mike Hollis[13] Lad Handelman[13] Bill Macdonald[13]
2012–2013 E. Lee Spence, M.H.D.[11] Michael Aw[11] Bret Gilliam[11] Dave Parker[11] G. Carleton Ray PhD[14]
2011 Phillip Lobel, PhD[11] Nick Caloyianis[11] Ed Stetson[11] Mike deGruy[11] x
2010 Patrick Colin, PhD[11] Bernie Campoli[11] William Hamner / Peggy Hamner[11] Frank K. Butler Jr., M.D.[11] x
2009 Michael Lang[11] Michele Hall[11] Paul Humann[15] Hillary Hauser[11] x
2008 Hannes Keller[11] Bonnie Cardone[11] Walt "Butch" Hendrick[16] Mike Gower[11] x
2007 Charles Birkeland, PhD[11] Wes Skiles Carl Roessler[17] Dee Scarr[18] x
2006 Paul S. Auerbach, M.D. Bill Curtsinger[19] Bill Meistrell / Bob Meistrell William "Bill" High[20] x
2005 Paul Dayton, PhD Peter Benchley Bob Evans[11] Lee Selisky[11] x
2004 Richard Pyle, PhD[21] Guy C. Harvey, PhD Armand Zigahn[11] Henri G. Delauze[22] x
2003 Jim Cahill Chris Newbert[23] / Birgitte Wilms[24] Leslie Leaney[25] x
2002 Anatoly M. Sagalevitch, PhD John Stoneman[26] Edward C. Cargile[27] Émile Gagnan x
2001 Bob Hollis[11] Geri Murphy[28] John Cronin[29] Hillary Viders, PhD[11] x
2000 John E. Randall, PhD[11] Ada Rebikoff Tom Mount Frederic Dumas x
1999 Richard W. Grigg, PhD[30] James Cameron Andreas B. Rechnitzer, PhD[11] Albert Falco x
1998 Hans Hass, PhD Wyland Richard Murphy, PhD[31] Hans Hass, PhD x
1997 Phil Nuytten, PhD Lt. Col. John D. Craig Robert Clark[11] Capt. Phillippe Tailliez x
1996 Kathryn D. Sullivan, PhD Ricou Browning Dan Orr Surgeon Vice Admiral John Rawlins x
1995 R.W. Bill Hamilton, PhD Bob Talbet Bev Morgan Scott Carpenter x
1994 Alfred Bove, M.D., PhD Flip Nicklin[32] Lee H. Somers, PhD[33] Mary Edith "Mel" Lillis[11] x
1993 Jean-Michel Cousteau Howard W. Hall[11] John Christopher Fine Gov. Lowell P. Weicker, PhD x
1992 Christopher Nicholson[34] Ralph White[35] Frank Fennell Ellis E.R. Cross[36] x
1991 William "Bill" High Jordan Klein, Sr. Richard W. Long E.B. "Teddy" Tucker, M.B.E.[37] x
1990 Robert I. Wicklund[38] Bev Morgan[39] Dennis K. Graver Ian G. Koblick[40] x
1989 Don Walsh, PhD Ivan Tors Jon Gaffney[11] Andreas B. Rechnitzer, PhD[11] x
1988 Richard A. Slater, PhD[11] Jack McKenny[41] Jon Hardy[42] Andre Galerne[11] x
1987 Eugenie Clark, PhD Emory Kristof Bert Kilbride[43] Richard M. Sammon x
1986 James W. Miller PhD Charles Nicklin[44] x John H. Perry, Jr.[45] x
1985 George Ruggieri] Cathy Church/Jim Church[46] Walt Hendrick, Sr. John Cronin x
1984 Gene Shinn[11] Nancy Sefton[47] J. Morgan Wells, PhD[48] Ralph Osterhout x
1983 Capt. Otto Van Der Aue, M.D. Mendel L. Peterson Helen Turcotte Davis[11] Elliott Finkle, PhD x
1982 Richard A Cooper, PhD Genaro Hurtado Lloyd Bridges Dick Bonin x
1981 Glen H. Egstrom, PhD Rick Freshee[11] Jefferson Davis, M.D.[11] / John Geiszler Nixon Griffis x
1980 Peter B. Bennett, PhD Valerie Taylor[49] Louis M. Fead Harry Shanks[11] x
1979 Roger W. Cook [Lee Tepley, PhD Jim Brown Charles Wesley Shilling, M.D.[11] x
1978Conrad Limbaugh[50] David N. Doubilet[51] Mel Fisher George Benjamin, PhD x
1977 Robert Dill, PhD Phillippe Pierre Cousteau Dewey Bergman Jack McKenny[41] x
1976 Sylvia A. Earle, PhD Bates Littlehales Arthur H. Ulrich Robert F. Marx x
1975 Robert D. Ballard, PhD Ernest H. Brooks, II[11] Ellis E.R. Cross[52] / Charles Nicklin Melvin Grosvenor, PhD x
1974 George Bass, PhD Lamar Boren Wheeler North, PhD Nick Icorn x
1973 Arthur J. Bachrach, PhD Ron Church Bernard "Bernie" Empleton Zale Parry x
1972 Joseph MacInnis, M.D. Al Giddings[11] Harold Drake Frank Scalli x
1971 Christian J. Lambertsen, M.D. Peter Gimbel Harold Drake Walter Feinberg x
1970 Harold Edgerton, PhD Richard Anderson[53] T.F. "Duke" Pawlowicz Oscar Asturias[54] x
1969 Albert Behnke, M.D. Paul Tzimoulis[11] James R. Stewart[55] Glen H. Egstrom, PhD[11] x
1968 Andreas B. Rechnitzer, PhD[11] Stanton A. Waterman Terry Lintz[11] David R. Stith[56] x
1967 Hon. Jacques Piccard, PhD Bill Barada[11] Ralph Davis[57] Louis R. Cuccia x
1966 Robert Workman, M.D. Dimitri Rebikoff[58] Ron Taylor[49] Capt. Jacques-Yves Cousteau x
1965 Edwin Link Eugenie Clark, M.D. John Ernst[59] Pablo Bush Romero x
1964 Capt. George Bond Coles Phinizy William "Bill" High Albert Tillman[11] x
1963 Edward Lanphier, M.D.[11] Luis Marden Mary Edith "Mel" Lillis[11] Joseph D. Albanese, Jr. x
1962 David M. Owen[60] James Dugan Gustav Dalla Valle[61] John J. McAniff[11] x
1961 Jim Christiansen / Jack Faver x x C.B. "Ben" Davis x
1960 Eugene J.D. Vezzani, PhD[11] Jim Auxier / Chuck Blakeslee[11] George Youmans[62] Carl H. Hauber[63] x
Award Year Science Arts Sports/Education Distinguished Service Environment


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