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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 inspiring individual whose actions, achievements, and spirit personify leadership and reflect our commitment to making extraordinary scientific discoveries and sharing them with the world.

2017 Awardee: Brian Skerry

Picture of Brian Skerry
Photograph courtesy Brian J. Skerry

Brian Skerry is a photojournalist specializing in marine wildlife and underwater environments. Skerry began diving at age 15 and has spent an estimated 10,000 hours underwater and worked in nearly every marine environment — he even lived a week on the bottom of the ocean.

Skerry is an 11-time award winner in the prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition, and has been recognized with awards from Pictures of the Year International, Nature’s Best, Communication Arts. He’s the only photographer to win the coveted Peter Benchley Award for Excellence in Media.

Skerry has authored 10 books, and is a photographer for National Geographic magazine since 1998.