James Cameron’s preference for geographically inconvenient film projects may have finally paid off. The Academy Award-winning moviemaker and alternative energy proponent was named Explorer-in-Residence by the National Geographic Society.

Cameron’s love for exploration is really nothing new. The Avatar creator is known to be an avid scuba enthusiast, and combined this enthusiasm with his passion for moviemaking to create The Abyss and Titanic. During these shoots, Cameron embarked on multiple journeys in 12-man submersible vehicles into the depths of the oceans.

Only a few years after revolutionizing the film industry with his Fusion camera, Cameron is leading a team that is building a manned submersible with the capability of reaching the greatest depths of the world’s oceans. He is also very involved in the Mars Science Laboratory and is part of the team that is planning for human exploration of Mars. No doubt that if he could, Cameron would be going to Mars himself.

During production of Avatar, a film about the plight of an indigenous people, Cameron discovered that he also had a passion for the plights of non-fictional indigenous peoples. He has spent time with natives in Alberta, Canada, and the Amazon rainforest, fighting those who would exploit these regions for their energy resources, also not unlike the villains from Avatar.

Ultimately, Cameron has been an explorer for a long time, but now that he has been named by the National Geographic Society, he will be able to indulge in his passions on a much broader scale, and hopefully help the planet out in the process.