In a remarkable achievement, Eagle Scout Dr. Jeffrey Bozanic, Ph.D., has been named one of the 2024 recipients of the New Orleans Grans Isle (NOGI) Award in the Sports/Education category. Presented annually by the Academy of Underwater Arts and Sciences (AUAS), the NOGI Award is revered in the diving community, akin to receiving an Oscar® in the film industry.
Bozanic will be honored alongside four other recipients during the November NOGI Awards Gala and Banquet in Las Vegas, Nevada. “The NOGI Award is the oldest and most prestigious award in the recreational diving world, recognizing individuals who have made significant career contributions to the sport, the industry, and the world in one of five (5) categories: Arts, Science, Environment, Sports/Education and through Distinguished Service,” stated Dan Orr, AUAS President.
The selection of recipients is based on their record of accomplishments and excellence in the diving world. The NOGI awards originally came into existence as part of the trophy system offered during the 1950s for the underwater division of the New Orleans Grand Isle Fishing Tournament. Since 1993, the NOGI awards have been the responsibility of the Academy of Underwater Arts and Sciences.
“The skills I learned in Scouting have been invaluable in participating in or leading over 70 scientific expeditions on all seven continents,” Bozanic said. “The leadership lessons, practical outdoor skills, and general problem-solving experiences that I learned on the trail to Eagle Scout prepared me to cope with unanticipated emergencies and unforeseen circumstances that many of my academic peers were unable to manage. Scouting truly gave me an edge that has enabled my success both professionally and personally.”
Bozanic earned his Eagle in December of 1972 as a member of Troop 558 in Huntington Beach, Calif., within the then Orange Empire Council (now Orange County Council). Since then, he served in several volunteer roles at the Council and Regional (now Territorial) levels, including service with NESA on the Council and National levels.
Bozanic’s Eagle project was to build an elementary school library from scratch. He coordinated and collected books, built the shelves, and cataloged and labeled the books and shelves, among other things.
Beyond his own achievements, Bozanic’s three children have excelled. His oldest is an Air Force Captain, currently training pilots at Sheppard Air Force Base in Texas. Bozanic’s daughter, Taleah, is an Eagle Scout in the Inaugural female Eagle Scout class. She is currently working on her Summit project. His youngest son, John-Aaron, is an Eagle Scout and Venturing Summit holder. He served as Order of the Arrow Section Chief in California a couple of years ago and was the first recipient of the Extraordinary Venturer of the Year in 2021.
The Academy of Underwater Arts and Sciences, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, is dedicated to recognizing pioneers in underwater exploration and conservation. As Bozanic and his fellow recipients pass on the stewardship of the sea, the AUAS remains committed to supporting future generations.
For more information about the Academy of Underwater Arts and Sciences, visit www.auas-nogi.org.