With DEEPEST Gratitude to Jacques Piccard, National Geographic Bestows its Highest Honor

After their successful nine-hour dive in January 1960 to the bottom of the Pacific Ocean??'s Mariana Trench, Don Walsh and Jacques Piccard emerge from the bathyscaphe Trieste. Walsh and Piccard were the first to reach the trench??'s lowest point, Challenger Deep, some 35,800 feet below the ocean surface.  Piccard, who died in 2008, was posthumously awarded the Hubbard Medal, the National Geographic highest honor, at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., on June 14, 2012. (Photo: Thomas J. Abercrombie)

After their successful nine-hour dive in January 1960 to the bottom of the Pacific Ocean’s Mariana Trench, Don Walsh and Jacques Piccard emerge from the bathyscaphe Trieste. Walsh and Piccard were the first to reach the trench’s lowest point, Challenger Deep, some 35,800 feet below the ocean surface. Piccard, who died in 2008, was posthumously awarded the Hubbard Medal, the National Geographic highest honor, at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., on June 14, 2012. (Photo: Thomas J. Abercrombie)

Only three men have ever reached the ocean’s deepest point. Capt. Don Walsh and the late Jacques Piccard in 1960 and earlier this year, James Cameron. On June 14th, 2012, National Geographic bestowed its highest honor, the Hubbard Medal, posthumously to Jacques Piccard for his record-breaking dive to the Mariana Trench with Don Walsh in the bathyscaphe Trieste to a depth of nearly seven miles. Many of his efforts greatly contributed to the fields of oceanography and conservation.

Piccard comes from a family of explorers. His father, Auguste, was a physicist and the first man to take a balloon into the stratosphere. In 1999, Jacques Piccard’s son, Bertrand Piccard, together with Brian Jones, completed the first ever nonstop circumnavigation of the globe in a balloon.

Presenting the Piccard family with the Medal was Don Walsh, who received the Hubbard Medal in 2010 and James Cameron, the last and only other man to reach this depth.

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State of the Oceans Forum II: Facing the Crisis: Reasons for Hope

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Join TED prize recipient and leading oceanographer Dr. Sylvia Earle at the Explorers Club for a discussion on how we can and must save the world’s most crucial natural resource ? the living ocean ? while there is still time.

In early 2009, a panel of top scientists led by marine toxicologist Dr. Susan Shaw and Dr. Earle came together to convey a powerful message about the enormity of the crisis facing the world’s oceans at the first State of the Oceans Forum. Now, these Explorers return for a follow-up forum about the innovative solutions, leadership and resources required to make a difference for future generations. Join them at the Second State of the Oceans Forum: Facing the Crisis: Reasons for Hope on Monday, December 7, 2009, 7:00-9:00pm at the Explorers Club’s World Center for Exploration in New York City.
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Video: Lessons from Ocean Explorers – Why Conservation Needs Exploration

A Special ExpeditionCasts Presentation: Lessons from Ocean Explorers: Why Conservation Needs Exploration. Renowned ocean explorers and adventurers gathered at the Carnegie Institution for Science on March 7, 2009 to kick off the Blue Vision Summit, a project of the Blue Frontier Campaign. With stunning imagery and stories from the deep, this unique panel discusses the importance of ocean exploration, its future, and how exploration is vital to the advancement of the conservation of the oceans. (You can watch this video below or on your iPod or compatible MP3 player by subscribing free to ExpeditionCasts in iTunes.) [Read more...]