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Department of Communications/
News Bureau
22 Davis Hall, 10 Lippitt Road, Kingston, RI 0288
Phone: 401-874-2116 Fax: 401-874-7872

John Knauss receives professional achievement
award from alma mater

Narragansett, RI -- August 21, 2002 -- The University of California at San Diego (UCSD) Alumni Association has selected URI Graduate School of Oceanography (GSO) Dean Emeritus John Knauss of Saunderstown to receive the organization’s 2002 Professional Achievement Award.

The award will be presented at the annual Awards for Excellence Gala on October 19 at the Birch Aquarium at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in LaJolla, California.

This award is given to graduates of UCSD with an established record of accomplishments, complemented by significant contributions to their profession. Knauss graduated from the University of California’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography with a doctorate in 1959. He served as the first dean of GSO from 1962 to 1990. After retiring from GSO he served as Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, and Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration from 1989 until 1993.

Knauss earned this award through nominations from his peers, all leaders in the oceanographic community. Margaret Leinen, assistant director for geosciences at the National Science Foundation and former dean of GSO was one of the scientists who advanced his nomination.

"John Knauss has led the field of oceanography in every conceivable way," said Leinen. "His research into equatorial current systems still stands as a fundamental contribution, he founded and led one of the nation's premier oceanographic research institutions, he was a key figure in the establishment of the NOAA Sea Grant Program, and he advocated for the entire field of oceanography in his work with the Stratton Commission and the Law of the Sea negotiations. He is a national asset."

One of the "founding fathers" of Sea Grant, Knauss has received numerous honors, appointments, and awards. In 1988, an act of Congress changed the Sea Grant Fellowship Program to the Dean John A. Knauss Fellowship Program. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Geophysical Union, and the Marine Technology Society. He has been President of the Association of Sea Grant Program Institutions, Chairman of the University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System (UNOLS), and a founder of the Law of the Sea Institute.

The URI Graduate School of Oceanography is one of the country's largest marine science education programs, and one of the world's foremost marine research institutions. Founded in 1961 in Narragansett, RI, GSO serves a community of scientists who are researching the causes of and solutions to such problems as acid rain, harmful algal blooms, global warming, air and water pollution, oil spills, overfishing, and coastal erosion. GSO is home to the Coastal Institute, the Coastal Resources Center, Rhode Island Sea Grant, the Institute for Underwater Archaeology, and the National Sea Grant Library.

Contact: Lisa Cugini, (401) 874-6642.

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