NAUI Excellence

NAUI Awards are presented annually

From the very beginning, the National Association of Underwater Instructors (NAUI) has relied upon and benefited from the talents and commitment of its members. We celebrate excellence in NAUI leadership each year by recognizing the contributions of dedicated members around the world who so freely give of their time, not only for the advancement of NAUI, but for the sport of diving in general and protection of the marine ecosystem worldwide.

NAUI members may submit a nomination form to highlight a NAUI Leader who distinguishes him/herself in the dive community, by visiting HERE. (Scroll down for award descriptions & criteria.) Nominations must be submitted before August 1.

For dedication and support to the advancement of NAUI operations worldwide, John C. Banks and Angie Cowan have been endowed with the first two annual Executive Director's Award for 2016 and 2017.

Congratulations to our 2017 Award Recipients

Member Name Member # Award Year Award Type

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Award Descriptions & Criteria

  • First it was the people who had the vision. Then it was the people who took our motto and mission to heart. NAUI was conceived, born, and nurtured by a lot of very talented and dedicated individuals whose labor was, for the most part, volunteer. The inaugural class of 22 honorees was inducted into the Hall of Honor at our 40th anniversary celebration in Houston, Texas, in 2000. A dozen more members have joined their ranks in the decade since.

    The NAUI Hall of Honor was established to recognize and thank those most valuable NAUI members who have made outstanding contributions to the development of diving education, especially to NAUI—those very special individuals who went well beyond the call of duty to become the key contributors and leaders of the Association. A nomination may be made by any NAUI member; accompanying the nomination should be a short biographical statement to support the selection criteria. Nominations are reviewed and approved by a committee selected by the NAUI Board of Directors, and the final approval is made by the Board.

    Criteria

    Awarded to individuals who:

    • are certified as a NAUI Instructor at least 20 years before the date of induction.
    • have made outstanding contributions to the development of diving education, especially to NAUI
    • have performed service in the development of new NAUI Leaders
    • have performed service to NAUI in conferences and seminars
    • have performed service to NAUI in committees
    • have made significant contributions to NAUI's growth and stature

    Nomination: by any NAUI member

  • To recognize long-term service as a NAUI Divemaster, Assistant Instructor, or Skin Diving Instructor, the Outstanding Training Support Award was established in 1992. Until then, NAUI had no award to specifically recognize the very dedicated and self-sacrificing group of NAUI members who have chosen to make a contribution to diving by assisting in the training programs of NAUI instructors rather than choosing to become scuba instructors themselves. There are two versions of the award, one for five years of service and one for 10 years.

    Criteria

    Awarded to individuals who:

    • have maintained regular participation in and support of NAUI training programs while in active status as a NAUI Assistant Instructors, Divemasters, Freediving Instructor,
    • and have maintained continuous membership for minimum 5 or 10 years,
    • and were regular participants in and support of NAUI training programs.

    Selection for this award is automatic upon nomination with the provision that the nominee is a current NAUI member in good standing.

    Nomination: by NAUI Instructors assisted

  •  

    The NAUI Outstanding Service Award is presented to NAUI members who distinguish themselves for service provided to the association. Their service to NAUI and our mission of dive safety through education can be on a local, regional, national, or international level. This is NAUI’s oldest award, established in 1975. Traditionally, the majority of nominations are submitted by NAUI field representatives. However, any member of NAUI may nominate a NAUI member for the award.

    Criteria

    Awarded to NAUI Members who:

    • Distinguish themselves for outstanding service provided to the association in any given year or combination thereof.
    •  
    • Performed service in the development of new NAUI Leaders
    •  
    • Performed service to NAUI in conferences and seminars
    • Performed service to NAUI in committees

    Nomination: by any NAUI member

  • Criteria

    The NAUI Continuing Service Award is awarded to NAUI members who have previously received an Outstanding Service Award and who have continued to distinguish themselves through further service to the association as described for the Outstanding Service Award. Traditionally, the majority of nominations are submitted by NAUI field representatives. However, any member of NAUI may nominate a NAUI member for the award

    Nomination: by any NAUI member

  • Criteria

    Awarded to individuals who:

    are not members of NAUI, but have made significant, long-term contributions to the fields of sport diving, marine conservation, or marine education

    Nomination: by any NAUI member

  • The Albert Pierce Medal for Heroism was established by the Board of Directors in 1992. Its purpose is to recognize personal valor above and beyond the call of duty as exhibited during lifesaving or rescue operations. The award is named to posthumously honor the research and contributions made by Albert Pierce, NAUI 1292, during a lifetime of work in diving instruction and diving lifesaving. In its 20-year history, three individuals have received the Albert Pierce Award: Stanley Cwiklinski, NAUI 13452 (1992), Michael Bohnenberger, NAUI 5559 (1993), and Captain Pete Westak, NAUI 14008 (2007).

    Criteria

    The awardee need not be a NAUI member, and any person is eligible who has:

    • Successfully saved a life in an aquatics-related situation, and
    • Voluntarily exposed him/herself to grave personal risk of life, limb or continued health during the effort, and
    • Made a rescue effort clearly beyond the call of any explicit or implied duty. This is a key criterion that is intended to distinguish the actions needed for the award from those efforts normally expected and required of a NAUI Instructor in caring for students and divers in his or her vicinity, or for his or her personal students.

    Nomination: by any NAUI member or by the rescued person involved

  • Of particular concern to the diving community is the continuing damage to the aquatic environments and the fear that marine ecosystems will lose their ability to regenerate. NAUI’s Environmental Enrichment Award is given for work causing or promoting improvement or protection of the aquatic environment. The concept for the award was developed by Hillary Viders, NAUI 10107, then the NAUI/NDA Environmental Liaison. In support of NAUI’s mission of environmental education, the award was approved by the NAUI Board of Directors in 1992. The Environmental Enrichment Award is presented in two categories: one to recognize the efforts of an individual and one to recognize organizational entities. Either or both awards may be presented annually.

    The award is given for work that has caused an important and recognizable improvement in the aquatic environment, provided significant protection for the aquatic environment, or educated and inspired others to protect and conserve the aquatic environment. The actions affecting the aquatic environment may include any efforts that improve or preserve any part of the global hydrologic cycle. Recognition may be granted for work or efforts completed either on a professional or volunteer basis, so long as the caliber of the activities warrants the award. The award may recognize one event or a lifetime of achievement.

    Either or both awards may be presented annually, provided there is an appropriate nominee. A recipient may only receive the award once. The actions affecting the aquatic environment may include any efforts that improve or preserve any part of the global hydrologic cycle. Any NAUI member or past recipient may nominate an individual or entity for the award.

    Criteria

    Awarded in 2 categories:

    • one to recognize the efforts of an individual,
    • and one to recognize organizational entities

    Awarded for:

    • work that has caused an important and recognizable improvement in the aquatic environment,
    • provides significant protection for the aquatic environment,
    • or educates and inspires others to protect and conserve the aquatic environment.
    • actions affecting the aquatic environment may include any efforts that improve or preserve any part of the global hydrologic cycle.
    • for work or efforts completed either on a professional or volunteer basis, so long as the caliber of the activities warrants the award.
    • A recipient may only receive the award once. The award may recognize one event, or lifetimes of achievement.

    Nomination: By any NAUI member or past recipient. The nomination is to be in writing and should identify the nominee, describe their

    efforts, state how they improved the aquatic environment, include contact information, and the category of the nomination

  • The Dr. Charlie Brown Memorial Award was created in 1985 to posthumously recognize and commemorate the contributions made by Dr. Charles V. Brown of Laguna Beach, California. Although not a diver, Dr. Brown dedicated himself for many years to service to the sport diving community. He lectured at Instructor Certification Courses, made NAUI IQ conference presentations, wrote articles and support materials for diver training, served as regular medical columnist of NAUI News, and made himself available in every way to serve divers and diving safety. He did this on a volunteer basis, unselfishly, and in a non-profit capacity. After his untimely death in 1981, friends banded together to promote creation of a special award to recognize commitment to unselfish service so typified by Charlie Brown.

    The award recognizes volunteer service and contributions to the diving community of a substantial nature. Because a key element in the criteria is that the service be voluntary and non-profit, the award is usually given to persons who are not professionally employed in diving, although diving professionals also have received the award based on their volunteer service to diving. Any individual who meets the criteria, whether a member of NAUI or not, is eligible for the award. Any individual or entity may make nominations.

    Criteria

    • Awarded to any individual, whether a member of NAUI or not, who:
    • service to diving that was/is voluntary and non-profit.
    • persons professionally employed in diving are not normally eligible.

    Nomination: Any individual or entity may make nominations.

  • The NAUI Lifetime Achievement Award Honors significant and continued contributions to diving and long-term service on behalf of NAUI. The award is open to any NAUI Hall of Honor member.

    The NAUI Board of Directors created the NAUI Lifetime Achievement Award in 1998 to honor significant and continued contributions to diving and long-term service on behalf of NAUI. The award is open to any NAUI Hall of Honor member.

    The first recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award was Al Tillman, NAUI 001, in recognition of his extraordinary and continued contributions to recreational scuba diving education and to the development of worldwide diving training standards. Al was specifically cited as co-founder of the first organized underwater certification program in 1954, as co-founder of NAUI in 1959-60, and as director of the first NAUI Instructor Certification Course in 1960. Al was presented his award at the NAUI social at the 1998 DEMA show.

     

  • Award for Innovation

    Recognizing innovative contributions to the development of diving and dive education

    The modern dive industry is one of continuous innovation. Innovation in equipment, training, engagement, business, ideas, and applications. NAUI as an organization has led many innovations in the diving industry including teaching standards, course development, safety considerations, and business organization. The NAUI Award for Innovation recognizes individuals for their significant contribution of innovation to the dive industry. Their innovations reflect the spirit of adventure, exploration, and leadership which is the very foundation of the diving industry and NAUI.

    This award recognizes innovative programs, practices, partnerships, policies, and activities that improve the ability to serve students and the diving community, and to honor those who have created and implemented innovation. Granting this award provides NAUI the opportunity express our appreciation to these individuals who strive for excellence and innovation, showcase their innovations, and acknowledge the positive waves their contributions make to the diving community.

    Criteria

    Awarded in 2 categories each year:

    • one to recognize the efforts of an individual
    • one to recognize organizational entities

    Parameters:  

    • An organizational or individual recipient may only receive the award in their name directly once. Although, an individual recipient may be part of an organizational recipient and vice versa.
    • The award may recognize one contribution or timeline of achievement.

    Awarded for:

    • Recognized innovative contributions to the development of diving education
    • This award recognizes innovative programs, practices, partnerships, policies, and activities that improve the ability to serve students and the diving community

    Nomination: By any NAUI member or affiliate partner member (PFI, DAN). The nomination: is to be in writing; identify the nominee; describe their efforts; include contact information; the category of the nomination; and state how their innovation contributed to diving.