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Rolex National Geographic Explorer of the Year Award

The Rolex National Geographic Explorer of the Year award is given each year to an individual whose actions, achievements, and spirit personify leadership in exploration and storytelling. It recognizes a National Geographic Explorer whose commitment to a perpetual planet is shining a critical light on important issues, discoveries, and challenges facing our planet, and who is inspiring the world to act on behalf of a more sustainable future.

2018 Awardee

Joel Sartore

Joel Sartore is the founder and leader of the National Geographic Photo Ark, a multiyear effort that aims to document every species in the world’s zoos and wildlife sanctuaries and inspire action through education. Joel’s passion for giving all creatures—large and small—their moment in the sun is inextinguishable, and contagious. To date he has visited 40 countries in his quest to create a photo archive of global biodiversity, which will feature portraits of more than 12,000 species when completed. As a result of his extraordinary work, National Geographic has established Photo Ark grants and fellowships supporting on-the-ground conservation projects working to protect species and their habitats.

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