The NOGI AWARDS
Every year since 1960, a NOGI has been awarded (originally sanctioned by the Underwater Society of America, and later by the offspring ACADEMY OF UNDERWATER ARTS AND SCIENCES) to a select cadre of divers and undersea luminaries who rank at the top of their fields in one of four categories:
In 2012 the Academy added a fifth NOGI for:
- ARTS: Filmmakers, painters, photographers, sculptors and other artists who bring the majesty of the underwater world to people everywhere.
- SCIENCE: Explorers, inventors, doctors and scientists whose work helps us understand, enjoy and protect our precious underwater realm.
- SPORTS/EDUCATION: Outstanding athletes and teachers who make diving a safe, enjoyable and accessible activity for all who love the ocean.
- DISTINGUISHED SERVICE: World-renowned as well as quiet achievers whose contributions keep the wheels of the diving industry and the global diving community turning.
- ENVIRONMENT: People who, beyond their normal paid job, advocated, studied, lobbied, or otherwise helped far beyond anyone else to protect the oceans and the life within.
In 1993, under the leadership of Mary Edith "Mel" Lillis and the late Harry Shanks, The Academy of Underwater Arts and Sciences (AUAS) was created to administer the NOGI Award.
The AUAS is 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.