Moffett is recognized as one of the world’s most daring and adventurous scientist-explorers, with popular books, articles, TV segments, and over 500 published photos to his credit. He returned to Beloit to receive the award named for another Beloit-bred explorer-scientist, Roy Chapman Andrews.
Mark Moffett — “Dr. Bugs” — grew up in Beloit and graduated from Beloit College in 1979. His explorations of tropical forests and ecology have taken him around the world, from the top of the world’s tallest tree to deep in unexplored caves. He has discovered new plant and animal species while risking life and limb to find stories that make people fall in love with the unexpected in nature.
Moffett captivates audiences with first-hand stories of tropical ecology, treetop exploration, teamwork and goal accomplishment under extreme conditions, adventures under a rock (wonderful and weird stories of ants and spiders), and the love of nature and conservation. Television’s Stephen Colbert calls him “Ant-Man” and Conan O’Brien calls him a “frog-licker,” but Moffett calls himself a storyteller.
“I believe life is about telling stories,” he says. “Many of my favorite stories are my own research discoveries. Because I pick stories from remote parts of the earth that often have not been told before, I’ve often had to use my wits to survive, eating grubs, scorpions, and spiders with the native peoples on five continents… ascending trees to escape bull elephants… discovering Aztec burial chambers populated with giant blind cave tarantulas… tracking down a frog so lethal a mere touch can kill you… using blowguns in defense against Colombian drug lords… accidentally sitting on one of the world’s most deadly snakes.”
From the top of the world’s tallest tree, to deep in unexplored caves, Mark Moffett has discovered new species and behavior while risking life and limb to find stories that make people fall in love with the unexpected in the nature. He’s a real-life adventurer with awards for writing and photography.