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Each year, the National Geographic Society presents its most prestigious awards to innovative and inspiring trailblazers who are making astounding contributions to science, conservation, education, technology, and storytelling. Our honorees have defined some of the critical challenges of our time, driven new knowledge, advanced cutting-edge solutions, and inspired transformative change. Persevering through challenges and adversity, they illuminate and protect the wonder of our world—inspiring the Explorer in all of us along the way.

Watch the 2020 Virtual Awards


2020 Award Recipients


Michael Melford (TOP); David Bowman (Hubbard); Chris Millbern (Explorer of the Year); Charlie Hamilton James (eliza scidmore); Mark Thiessen (educator of the year); Rijasolo and Maria Jose Bermudez (Buffett Awards); Government of Canada (Planetary leadership awards)