John Knauss (1925 - 2015)
By: Legacy Staff
2 years ago
John A. Knauss, the noted oceanographer whose research and advocacy helped raised alarms about the delicate state of the world’s oceans, died Nov. 19, according to The Associated Press. He was 90.
After obtaining his bachelor's degree in meteorolgy from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1946, where he studied as part of the United States Navy’s V-12 program, Knauss earned a master's degree in physics from the University of Michigan and a doctorate in oceanography from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. His work quickly become pivotal to the nascent national debate on the environment and water quality, and his pioneering work as a member of the influential Stratton Commission on the report "Our Nation and the Sea: A Plan for National Action" led to the creation of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the formation of the Coastal Zone Management Act.
In 1966, Knauss worked with U.S. Sen. Claiborne Pell and Dr. Athelstan Spilhaus to create the National Sea Grant Program. Inspired by the land grant colleges model, the program continues to have a major impact on marine science, policy and management in the United States.
Knauss later went on to serve as a NOAA administrator, in addition to his many academic posts. In their statement confirming his death, the University of Rhode Island, for whom Knauss founded their graduate program in oceanography, highlights his numerous awards and honors, including the National Sea Grant Award, Rhode Island Science and Technology Award, Ocean Sciences Award from the Ocean Sciences Section of the American Geophysical Union, American Geophysical Union Athlestan Spilhaus Prize and the Ram Award of the URI Alumni Association.
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