National Geographic Honors Six Explorers, Conservationists and Adventurers

felix baumgartner standing in his capsule about to dive

Last night the National Geographic Society’s 125th Anniversary Gala took place at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. The event continued the year-long celebration of the “New Age of Exploration” by honoring some very distinguished guests for their contributions to science, the expansion of knowledge and pushing the boundaries of exploration in the 21st century.

Nat Geo CEO and Chairman John Fahey was on hand to hand out the Hubbard Medal, which is the Society’s highest honor. This year’s recipients included filmmaker James Cameron and oceanographer Sylvia Earl, both of whom were honored for their work in exploring and protecting the seas. Cameron was also named Explorer of the Year for 2012 dive into the Mariana Trench. The medal was also given to author Edward O. Wilson for a lifetime of writing about the diversity of life on our planet. BASE Jumper Felix Baumgartner was on hand to collect his award as the Adventurer of the Year, which he earned with his record setting leap from the edge of space, while Jeopardy! Host Alex Trebeck was given the Alexander Graham Bell Medal for his 25 years of service as the host of the National Geographic Bee. The Chairman’s Award went to philanthropist Howard G. Buffett for his leadership in conservation efforts around the globe.

Congratulations to all of the winners. Each is more than deserving for their in their own field. Some for their amazing achievements over the past year and others for a lifelong contribution to the ideals that the National Geographic Society has espoused since it’s inception 125 years ago. These fine individuals are certainly representative of exploration in a new age.

You can read a complete rundown of the evening here.

Kraig Becker