Every year from 1960 through 2012, the Academy of Underwater Arts and Sciences bestows NOGI awards upon 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.
Founded in 1993, the Academy of Underwater Arts and Sciences (AUAS) is an international, multi-disciplinary, non-profit organization dedicated to recognizing pioneers and leaders who have had a global impact on the exploration, enjoyment, safety, and preservation of the underwater world. AUAS is committed to supporting its members as they pass on the stewardship of the sea to future generations.