Kenny Broad (Photo by Rebecca Hale)
Last night, National Geographic held their first ever "Evening of Exploration" during which they announced the winners of their inaugural Explorers of the Year awards. During the event, three individuals and a corporation received recognition for their efforts in a variety of fields.
The 2011 Explorers of the Year award went to environmental anthropologist Kenny Broad and underwater photographer Wes Skiles, for their efforts in exploring and documenting the Blue Holes of the Bahamas last year. This was particularly fitting, as the theme of the evening was "Oceans."
Broad is a professor at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and serves as the director of the University of Miami’s Leonard and Jayne Abess Center for Ecosystem Science and Policy. He also co-directs the Center for Research on Environmental Decisions at Columbia University. Broad specializes in the study of the interaction between humans and their environment.
Skiles worked as a freelance photographer and produced, directed and filmed over 100 projects for television. He was an accomplished diver who specialized in filming and photographing underwater caves, having explored those beautiful, yet dangerous environments, in Mexico, Brazil, Puerto Rico, Australia, Antarctica and the Bahamas. Sadly, he passed away last year on a dive off the coast of Florida. His family accepted the award for him posthumously.
Also honored at the event were musician Jack Johnson and the IBM corporation. Johnson was the recipient of the "Arts Ambassador for the Environment Award," which is presented to an individual in the entertainment field who has taken a leadership role in raising awareness about environmental issues. IBM took home the "Charman's Aware" for their work with Nat Geo on the Genographic Project, a a ground breaking piece of research that examines how human populations migrated across the planet.
Congratulations to these very worthy winners.
Photo: Environmental anthropologist Kenny Broad and late underwater photographer Wes Skiles were named National Geographic “Explorers of the Year” for their extraordinary achievements in exploring and documenting the Blue Holes of the Bahamas in 2010. Broad is seen here accepting his award at the inaugural “Evening of Exploration” event. (Photo by Rebecca Hale)