Hillary Hauser, executive director of Heal the Ocean in Santa Barbara, and nature photographer and entrepreneur Bob Evans have been elected to board posts in the Academy of Underwater Arts & Sciences (AUAS), an international honorary organization that each year bestows the coveted NOGI Award to outstanding contributors to the underwater world.
During its annual meeting in November, the AUAS Board of Directors elected Hauser as president and Evans as executive director.
Hauser co-founded the 3,000-member citizens action group Heal the Ocean in 1998, and the nonprofit organization has been highly successful in removing sources of ocean pollution, including the removal of septic systems from seven miles of South Coast shoreline.
The AUAS is an international, multidisciplinary, nonprofit organization dedicated to recognizing pioneers and leaders who have had a global impact on the exploration, enjoyment, safety and preservation of the underwater world. NOGI stands for New Orleans Grand Isle, and the celebrated NOGI statuette is considered the “Oscar” of the diving world.
Winners have included Jacques Cousteau, Jean-Michel and Philippe Cousteau, James Cameron, Mike deGruy, Sylvia Earle, Eugenie Clark and many other illustrious ocean people. Evans won his NOGI in 2005 for Science & Education, and Hauser won hers in 2009 for Distinguished Service.
Once a year NOGI statuettes (designed by Wyland) are given to winners in five categories (Arts, Distinguished Service, Science, Sports/Education and Environment). The 2014 NOGI winners, soon to be announced to the public, will be awarded during the NOGI Gala Ceremony in Las Vegas next November.