Business & Government Nature & Environment Dec 03, 2015

Announcing the 2015 Leif Erikson Exploration Awards Winners!

See the three individuals celebrated for their accomplishments in exploration.

In a world where it sometimes may feel as if we’ve discovered everything there is to discover, the Leif Erikson Exploration Awards swoop in to show us individuals that go above and beyond what it means to excel in adventure. Each year the Exploration Museum in Húsavík, Iceland awards three individuals for their feats in exploring our world. The awards come in three categories: the History award, Young Explorer award, and Exploration award. This year’s winners are no exception in their extraordinary achievements; they’re all fearless individuals, working tirelessly to go above and beyond their duties as explorers.

In The Leif Erikson Exploration History award category, awarded to those who have worked to promote and preserve exploration history, is Dr. Huw Lewis-Jones. He’s garnered international acclaim with his heritage activity and writings on film, seafaring, mountaineering, visual culture, photography and remote environments. His many acclaimed books have been published in over a dozen languages, and he has a new book, Across the Arctic Ocean, published just this year by Thames & Hudson in New York.

Jessica Watson is the winner in The Leif Erikson Young Explorer award category this year, given to explorers under the age of 35. From October 2009 to May 2010, Watson took her a 210-day journey around the world by sailboat— all while she was just sixteen years old. This made her the youngest individual ever to complete a non-stop and unassisted southern hemisphere solo circumnavigation. Her daring and inspiring story is detailed in her book, True Spirit.

Finally, The Leif Erikson Exploration Award is given to those with a recent or lifetime achievement in the field of exploration. This year’s winner, Harrison Schmitt, definitely fits the “lifetime achievement” category. He’s being celebrated for his part in the geology training of all the astronauts who walked the Moon before him, as well as his own exploration on the Moon. He was the lunar module pilot of Apollo 17 and was the 12th and final Apollo astronaut to set foot on the Moon. In addition, he’s the only professional scientist to have walked on the Moon or flown beyond low earth orbit.

Inspired by these daring individuals? Learn more about exploration and maybe even how to start your own adventure by visiting the Exploration Museum in Húsavík. Happy exploring!

Watch the video below for more information on the awards:

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