Texas A&M Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Nautical Archaeology and founder of the Institute of Nautical Archaeology, George F. Bass, has been elected a 2012 fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a prestigious honorary society and a leading center for independent policy research.
In his more than 30 years of research and teaching, Bass made many noteworthy contributions to the field. He began diving in 1960, and that same year he became the first person to excavate an ancient shipwreck in its entirety on the sea bed. At the end of the excavation, Bass established a museum of underwater archaeology in the Bodrum castle in Turkey, which is now one of the most popular attractions in Bodrum. He has since excavated a number of shipwreck sites ranging from the Bronze Age through the eleventh century. He has also directed or assisted with prehistoric terrestrial excavations in Greece, Turkey, and Italy.
Throughout the years, Bass has written ten books including Serce Limani and Yassi Ada and has also received many awards and accolades for his preeminent achievements. He has been awarded the Archaeological Institute of America's Gold Medal for Distinguished Archaeological Achievement, the Historical Diving Society’s Pioneer Award, an Explorers Club Lowell Thomas Award, a National Geographic Society La Gorce Gold Medal as well as the Society's Centennial Award, the J.C. Harrington Medal from The Society for Historical Archaeology, and honorary doctorates from Bogaziçi University in Istanbul and the University of Liverpool. In 2002 President George W. Bush presented him with the National Medal of Science.