The NOGI Awards
Awarded forRecognition as belonging to "a select cadre of divers and undersea luminaries who rank at the top of their fields in one of five categories:
Arts, Science, Sports/Education, Distinguished Service, and Environment."[1]
CountryUnited States of America
Presented byAcademy of Underwater Arts and Sciences (since 1993)
Underwater Society of America (1960-1992)
First awarded1960
2012 (Environment)

The NOGI Awards is an award presented annually by the Academy of Underwater Arts and Sciences (AUAS) 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 and 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 and Bret Gilliam (diver), 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
1960 Eugene J.D. Vezzani, Ph.D.[11] Jim Auxier / Chuck Blakeslee[11] George Youmans[12] Carl H. Hauber[13] x
1961 Jim Christiansen / Jack Faver x x C.B. "Ben" Davis x
1962 David M. Owen[14] James Dugan Gustav Dalla Valle[15] John J. McAniff[11] x
1963 Edward Lanphier, M.D.[11] Luis Marden Mary Edith "Mel" Lillis[11] Joseph D. Albanese, Jr. x
1964 Capt. George Bond Coles Phinizy William "Bill" High Albert Tillman[11] x
1965 Edwin Link Eugenie Clark, M.D. John Ernst[16] Pablo Bush Romero x
1966 Robert Workman, M.D. Dimitri Rebikoff[17] Ron Taylor[18] Capt. Jacques-Yves Cousteau x
1967 Hon. Jacques Piccard, Ph.D. Bill Barada[11] Ralph Davis[19] Louis R. Cuccia x
1968 Andreas B. Rechnitzer, Ph.D.[11] Stanton A. Waterman Terry Lintz[11] David R. Stith[20] x
1969 Albert Behnke, M.D. Paul Tzimoulis[11] James R. Stewart[21] Glen H. Egstrom, Ph.D.[11] x
1970 Harold Edgerton, Ph.D. Richard Anderson[22] T.F. "Duke" Pawlowicz Oscar Asturias[23] x
1971 Christian J. Lambertsen, M.D. Peter Gimbel Harold Drake Walter Feinberg x
1972 Joseph MacInnis, M.D. Al Giddings[11] Harold Drake Frank Scalli x
1973 Arthur J. Bachrach, Ph.D. Ron Church Bernard "Bernie" Empleton Zale Parry x
1974 George Bass, Ph.D. Lamar Boren Wheeler North, Ph.D. Nick Icorn x
1975 Robert D. Ballard, Ph.D. Ernest H. Brooks, II[11] Ellis E.R. Cross[24] / Charles Nicklin Melvin Grosvenor, Ph.D. x
1976 Sylvia A. Earle, Ph.D. Bates Littlehales Arthur H. Ulrich Robert F. Marx x
1977 Robert Dill, Ph.D. Phillippe Pierre Cousteau Dewey Bergman Jack McKenny[25] x
1978 Conrad Limbaugh[26] David N. Doubilet[27] Mel Fisher George Benjamin, Ph.D. x
1979 Roger W. Cook Lee Tepley, Ph.D. Jim Brown Charles Wesley Shilling, M.D.[11] x
1980 Peter B. Bennett, Ph.D. Valerie Taylor[18] Louis M. Fead Harry Shanks[11] x
1981 Glen H. Egstrom, Ph.D. Rick Freshee[11] Jefferson Davis, M.D.[11] / John Geiszler Nixon Griffis x
1982 Richard A Cooper, Ph.D. Genaro Hurtado Lloyd Bridges Dick Bonin x
1983 Capt. Otto Van Der Aue, M.D. Mendel L. Peterson Helen Turcotte Davis[11] Elliott Finkle, Ph.D. x
1984 Gene Shinn[11] Nancy Sefton[28] J. Morgan Wells, Ph.D.[29] Ralph Osterhout x
1985 George Ruggieri Cathy Church/Jim Church[30] Walt Hendrick, Sr. John Cronin x
1986 James W. Miller, Ph.D. Charles Nicklin[31] x John H. Perry, Jr.[32] x
1987 Eugenie Clark, Ph.D. Emory Kristof Bert Kilbride[33] Richard M. Sammon x
1988 Richard A. Slater, Ph.D.[11] Jack McKenny[25] Jon Hardy[34] Andre Galerne[11] x
1989 Don Walsh, Ph.D. Ivan Tors Jon Gaffney[11] Andreas B. Rechnitzer, Ph.D.[11] x
1990 Robert I. Wicklund[35] Bev Morgan[36] Dennis K. Graver Ian G. Koblick[citation needed] x
1991 William "Bill" High Jordan Klein, Sr. Richard W. Long E.B. "Teddy" Tucker, M.B.E.[37] x
1992 Christopher Nicholson[38] Ralph White[39] Frank Fennell Ellis E.R. Cross[40] x
1993 Jean-Michel Cousteau Howard W. Hall[11] John Christopher Fine Gov. Lowell P. Weicker, Ph.D. x
1994 Alfred Bove, M.D., Ph.D. Flip Nicklin[41] Lee H. Somers, Ph.D.[42] Mary Edith "Mel" Lillis[11] x
1995 R.W. Bill Hamilton, Ph.D. Bob Talbet Bev Morgan Scott Carpenter x
1996 Kathryn D. Sullivan, Ph.D. Ricou Browning Dan Orr Surgeon Vice Admiral John Rawlins x
1997 Phil Nuytten, Ph.D. Lt. Col. John D. Craig Robert Clark[11] Capt. Phillippe Tailliez x
1998 Hans Hass, Ph.D. Wyland Richard Murphy, Ph.D.[43] Hans Hass, Ph.D. x
1999 Richard W. Grigg, Ph.D.[44] James Cameron Andreas B. Rechnitzer, Ph.D.[11] Albert Falco x
2000 John E. Randall, Ph.D.[11] Ada Rebikoff Tom Mount Frederic Dumas x
2001 Bob Hollis[11] Geri Murphy[45] John Cronin[46] Hillary Viders, Ph.D.[11] x
2002 Anatoly M. Sagalevitch, Ph.D. John Stoneman[47] Edward C. Cargile[48] Émile Gagnan x
2003 Jim Cahill Chris Newbert[49] / Birgitte Wilms[50] Leslie Leaney[51] x
2004 Richard Pyle, Ph.D.[52] Guy C. Harvey, Ph.D. Armand Zigahn[11] Henri G. Delauze[53] x
2005 Paul Dayton, Ph.D. Peter Benchley Bob Evans[11] Lee Selisky[11] x
2006 Paul S. Auerbach, M.D. Bill Curtsinger[54] Bill Meistrell / Bob Meistrell William "Bill" High[55] x
2007 Charles Birkeland, Ph.D.[11] Wes Skiles Carl Roessler[56] Dee Scarr[57] x
2008 Hannes Keller[11] Bonnie Cardone[11] Walt "Butch" Hendrick[58] Mike Gower[11] x
2009 Michael Lang[11] Michele Hall[11] Paul Humann[59] Hillary Hauser[11] x
2010 Patrick Colin, Ph.D.[11] Bernie Campoli[11] William Hamner / Peggy Hamner[11] Frank K. Butler Jr., M.D.[11] x
2011 Phillip Lobel, Ph.D.[11] Nick Caloyianis[11] Ed Stetson[11] Mike deGruy[11] x
2012–2013 E. Lee Spence, M.H.D.[11] Michael Aw[11] Bret Gilliam[11] Dave Parker[11] G. Carleton Ray, Ph.D.[60]
2014 Richard D. Vann, Ph.D.[61] Richard Ellis[61] Mike Hollis[61] Lad Handelman[61] Bill Macdonald[61]
2015 Dr Richard A. Lutz[62] Clive Cussler[62] Bob Kirby[62] Rodney Fox[62] Dr Gregory S. Stone[62]
2016 Mike Cochran[63] Stephen Frink[63] Bob Croft[63] Bonnie Toth[63] Hardy Jones[63]
2017 Dr Gerald R Allen[64] Chuck Davis[64] Jill Heinerth[64] Tom Ingram[64] Dr. Eric Sala[64]
2018 Dr. Michael L. Gernhardt[65] Marty Snyderman[65] Sally E. Bauer, M.D.[65] Peter A Hughes[65] John C. Ogden, Ph.D.[65]
2019 Dr Tom Neuman[66] Brian Skerry[66] Eric Hanauer[66] Jerry Greenberg[66] Dr Wallace Nichols[66]
Award Year Science Arts Sports/Education Distinguished Service Environment


  1. ^ a b "NOGI Award from The Academy of Underwater Arts & Sciences". Academy of Underwater Arts & Sciences. Archived from the original on 10 April 2014. Retrieved 9 February 2015.
  2. ^ The NOGI Award: Bert Kilbride
  3. ^ Obituary of Mike deGruy: 1951-2012
  4. ^ "Two Santa Barbarans receive diving's highest honor" by Peter Howorth
  5. ^ a b NOGI Award from The Academy of Underwater Arts & Sciences
  6. ^ "NOGI - Diving's Most Prestigious Award". Academy of Underwater Arts & Sciences. Archived from the original on 3 October 2008. Retrieved 8 February 2015.
  7. ^ "Awards (on USOA homepage)". The Underwater Society of America. Retrieved 9 February 2015.
  8. ^ 50th Annual NOGI Awards Gala
  9. ^ 50th Annual NOGI Awards Gala Dress
  10. ^ NOGI – History Archived 3 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb "Academy of Underwater Arts & Sciences (list of all Recipients)". Academy of Underwater Arts & Sciences. Retrieved 9 February 2015.
  12. ^ "The Southwest Council of Diving Clubs Council History". Dick Wilgus, Sandy Wilgus & Paul Johnston. Retrieved 9 February 2015.
  13. ^ Philips, C. A. (2009). "Carl H. Hauber, J.D., C.A.E., 1931–2008 An obituary". Journal of Neurosurgery. 110 (4). American Association of Neurological Surgeons: 811. doi:10.3171/2009.1.00244. PMID 28317435. Retrieved 9 February 2015.
  14. ^ "In Memoriam: David M. Owen". Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Retrieved 9 February 2015.
  15. ^ "Gustav Dalla Valle Spearfisherman and Scubapro Co-founder". Portage Quarry Recreation Club, Inc. Retrieved 9 February 2015.
  16. ^ "The Man. Period. End of Story. John Ernst". Hawaii Skin Diver. 16 May 2014. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
  17. ^ "Dimitri Rebikoff, 76, Camera Inventor". Sun Sentinel. 30 August 1997. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
  18. ^ a b "Ron & Valerie Taylor". International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
  19. ^ McLellan, Dennis (20 June 2001). "Ralph Davis; Pioneer in Sport Spearfishing". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
  20. ^ "David R. Stith Notice Condolences". Retrieved 10 February 2015.
  21. ^ "James Stewart Pioneer and Early Dive Expert". Portage Quarry Recreation Club, Inc. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
  22. ^ "Diving Pioneer Dick Anderson Passes Away In California". DiveNewswire, LLC. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
  23. ^ "Oscar J. Asturias Obituary Condolence". Retrieved 10 February 2015.
  24. ^ Cardone, Bonnie J. "E.R. Cross In Memoriam". Skindiver online. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
  25. ^ a b "Jack McKenney". The International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on 24 March 2015. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
  26. ^ Price, Mary Lynn (2 May 2008). "A Biography of Conrad Limbaugh" (PDF). University of California. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
  27. ^ "David Doubilet" (PDF). Neti Consultants. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
  28. ^ "Nancy Sefton, 2001". Women Divers Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on 19 January 2015. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
  29. ^ "Curriculum Vitae J. Morgan Wells" (PDF). International Board of Undersea Medicine. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
  30. ^ "In memory of Jim Church 1932-2002". Jim Church School of UW Photography. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
  31. ^ "Charles Nicklin". Concept Systems Inc. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
  32. ^ "John H. Perry, Jr. - January 2, 1917 - May 16, 2006". Perry Institute for Marine Science. Archived from the original on 18 February 2015. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
  33. ^ "Bert Kilbride March 8, 1914 - January 8, 2008". Gayla Kilbride. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
  34. ^ McLellan, Dennis (9 September 2001). "Jon Hardy, 62, Scuba Diving Legend". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
  35. ^ "Robert I. Wicklund". Goodreads Inc. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
  36. ^ "Bev Morgan Inventor and Dive Helmet Manufacturer". Portage Quarry Recreation Club, Inc. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
  37. ^ Stevenson, Cooper; Strangeways, Sam (10 June 2014). "Underwater pioneer Teddy Tucker dies, aged 89". The Royal Gazette. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
  38. ^ "Christopher Nicholson". LinkedIn. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
  39. ^ Heller, Jason (19 February 2008). "Ralph White Tribute"., Underwater Holdings, LLC. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
  40. ^ Morse, Harold (17 October 2000). "E.R. Cross memorial set". Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
  41. ^ "Flip Nicklin". National Geographic Society. Archived from the original on 13 April 2010.
  42. ^ "Dr. Lee H. Somers Selected as 1997 DAN/Rolex Diver of the Year" (PDF). Divers Alert Network. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
  43. ^ Jewell, Wendy (22 March 2013). "Science Hero: Dr. Richard Murphy Marine Biologist". The My Hero Project, Inc. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
  44. ^ "Richard W. Grigg". University of Hawai‘i at Manoa. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
  45. ^ "Awards". Geri Murphy Images. Archived from the original on 3 July 2015. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
  46. ^ "PADI Co-Founder John Cronin is Dead at 74". Bill Jones. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
  47. ^ "2000 Jury Member". Rolex. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
  48. ^ "Edward C. Cargile Research Diver With Full Background". Portage Quarry Recreation Club, Inc. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
  49. ^ "Chris Newbert". Rainbowed Sea Tours, Inc. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
  50. ^ "Birgitte Wilms" (PDF). Voiceds of the Earth. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
  51. ^ "Leslie Leaney". The Historical Diving Society. Archived from the original on 10 February 2015. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
  52. ^ "Hawaii Biological Survey Staff: Richard L. Pyle, Ph.D." Bishop Museum. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
  53. ^ "Henri Germain Delauze 1929-2012". OceanicTime. 17 February 2012. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
  54. ^ "My Inspiration". Bill Curtsinger. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
  55. ^ "Around Town / Kenmore's Bill High dives into prestigious award". Bothell Reporter. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
  56. ^ "Sharks and Parks with Carl Roessler". Carl Roessler. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
  57. ^ "Bonaire's Dee Scarr Receives Coveted Nogi Award At DEMA Show 2008". Bonnier Corporation. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
  58. ^ "Bio – Butch Hendrick". Team Lifeguard Systems. Retrieved 9 February 2015.
  59. ^ "Paul Humann"., Inc. Retrieved 9 February 2015.
  60. ^ "G. Carleton Ray Recognized for a Half-Century of Environmental Work". University of Virginia. Retrieved 9 February 2015.
  61. ^ a b c d e Rosemary E Lunn (20 January 2014). "Dr. Richard D. Vann to be awarded prestigious NOGI". The Underwater Marketing Company. Retrieved 9 February 2015.
  62. ^ a b c d e "The 2015 NOGI Awardees!". Academy of Underwater Arts & Sciences. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
  63. ^ a b c d e "The 2016 NOGI Awardees!". Academy of Underwater Arts & Sciences.
  64. ^ a b c d e Rosemary E Lunn (10 January 2017). "Jill Heinerth To Receive 2017 NOGI for Sports & Education". DeeperBlue.
  65. ^ a b c d e Rosemary E Lunn (15 January 2018). "Peter A Hughes to receive 2018 NOGI for 'Distinguished Service'". X-Ray Mag.
  66. ^ a b c d e Rosemary E Lunn (7 October 2019). "Limited 2019 NOGI Award tickets available". X-Ray Mag.