The award honors individuals who make scientific discoveries and share them to benefit the world. It is presented by Rolex, which recently entered into a new partnership with National Geographic to support exploration.
Skerry, 55, is internationally known for his images of undersea wildlife and environments. A National Geographic photographer for two decades and a National Geographic photography fellow since 2014, he currently is at work on his 25th feature story for the magazine.
“Brian’s images tell stories that celebrate the mystery and beauty of the ocean while bringing attention to the issues that threaten it,” says National Geographic Society President and CEO Gary E. Knell. To capture those images, Knell says, “Brian has lived on the bottom of the sea, spent months aboard fishing boats, and traveled in everything from snowmobiles to the Goodyear blimp.”
Skerry is a founding fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers. He lectures widely on photography and conservation and has authored 10 books.
Rolex and National Geographic are longtime collaborators on the Explorer of the Year award, which is presented each June during the Society’s Explorers Festival in Washington, D.C.
“We want our families, for generations to come, to be able to rely on and enjoy our oceans. This is what drives Brian,” Knell says. “It’s about giving a voice to the sea and its creatures, many of which are endangered.”