In June, 2011, Rich Wilson received an Honorary Doctorate in Public Administration from the Massachusetts Maritime Academy citing his: “global voyages and global efforts in K12 education”.
In 2005, Rich Wilson received the prestigious Blue Water Medal from the Cruising Club of America. The award was made: “for a series of three voyages Wilson made between 1993 and 2003 in his 53′ trimaran Great American II, to equal or beat the record passages of famous 19th century clippers. His successful attempts were notable for the thoroughness of his preparations, the skilled but conservative way he sailed his vessel and the educational component he was able to develop for over 250,000 children who tracked his progress.”
In May, 2000, at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, sitesALIVE! was named a Winner, along with The Wichita Eagle, of the Newspaper Innovators in Education Award for the 36-part science expedition series produced by sitesALIVE! and published by The Wichita Eagle. The series consisted of Rainforest Live! (Spring 1999), Oceans Live! (Fall 1999), and Wetlands & Fisheries Live! (Spring 2000). The award is presented by the Newspaper Association of America Foundation.
In September 2002, District Administration Magazine selected sitesALIVE! for their fifth annual list of the best curriculum spots on the Web. sitesALIVE! was chosen as one of “…the latest outstanding teaching and learning resources on the Web….”
In July 2001, sitesALIVE! was selected by Curriculum Administrator as the K-12 “Website of the Week” on their online magazine.
In December, 1999, sitesALIVE! was awarded Finalist (top 5 web sites) in two separate categories, Children and Education, of the Ziff-Davis Global Information Infrastructure (GII) Awards for Internet sites. Over 150 companies competed in those two categories.
In May, 1997, sitesALIVE! was selected by USA Today as one of its Hot Sites accordingly: “Anyone with any doubts about the educational value of the web should click to sitesALIVE!”
In 1997, “Racing a Ghost Ship”, by Rich Wilson, received Scientific American’s Young Reader’s Book Award. The book recounts the stories of the Great American and Great American II voyages, both skippered by Wilson, in pursuit of the clipper ship record from San Francisco to Boston by way of Cape Horn. These voyages were Ocean Challenge’s first two “learning adventures”. Published by Walker & Co., New York, NY.
In 1994, Rich Wilson and Bill Biewenga were certified as world-record holders by the Guinness Book of World Records for their 69-day 20-hour voyage from San Francisco to Boston by way of Cape Horn. This voyage formed the basis for the “Ocean Challenge” program run with Prodigy and twelve newspapers nationwide.
In 1990, Rich Wilson, a lifelong asthmatic, was named “SuperAchiever” by the American Lung Association. In 1993, Wilson received the First Annual Christmas Seals Hero Award from the American Lung Association of Massachusetts.