April 18, 2016

MIT Sea Grant Knauss Alumni: Where Are They Now?

The Dean John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship.

Launching illustrious careers, Sea Grant Knauss Fellowships offer direct experience working on the latest issues in ocean and coastal management, fisheries and research.

The fellowship has provided 37 years of opportunities for promising students to explore the national policy process. Over 70 offices within the DC area have hosted fellows in the past three years. There have been over 1,000 fellows since the program started in 1979, with 747 fellows placed in federal departments and agencies and 366 fellows placed in the U.S. Congress.

Take a look at how the fellowship shaped the careers of MIT Sea Grant's Knauss fellows:

1988 Alum Michael Nelson
"My fellowship turned into a permanent position with the Senate Science Subcommittee and, five years later, a job working with Vice President Gore on digital issues in the Clinton White House. Due to good luck and good timing, I was able to help Congress and the Clinton Administration make key decisions that enabled the explosive growth of the commercial Internet during its early years."

1995 Alum Eric Jay Dolin
"My favorite memory from the fellowship was working with Dr. Jeffrey L. Payne, who was the Deputy Director of the Office of Policy and Strategic Planning, on writing justifications for the NOAA budget to Congress. It was an interesting project, but the best part was working with Dr. Payne, who showed me what it looks like to be a conscientious, knowledgeable, and effective civil servant'

1996 Alum Samantha Woods
"It provided me with insight into how decisions were made at the federal level regarding the environment. Familiarity with this level of government as helped me throughout my career to gain funding and understand where to go to influence environmental decision making."

2009 Alum Abigail Franklin Archer
"Nothing beats the feeling of moving into a new city with a ready-made group of 20+ friends, who also happen to be incredibly accomplished and inspiring people. I also loved being able to attend Congressional hearings."

2011 Alum Caitlin Frame
"The fellowship gave me experience managing large government-funded projects. I also gained experience working with emerging renewable energy technologies in the U.S."

2012 Alumni Fern Gibbons
"I've ended up back in the same office I did my fellowship, and I couldn't be happier."

2015 Alum Casey Diederich
"It sounds like a cliché, but the fellowship really opens up a whole new world, especially for those with a hard science background. It’s a really unique opportunity to contribute in a meaningful way, learn about new and exciting work going on in science policy, gain a lot of new skills, meet tons of people in a host of interesting fields, and launch your career in a new path."

2015 Alum Ben Carr
"I was able to host an inter-agency one-day workshop in November with about 60 senior scientists from 11 agencies from across the government, including NASA, EPA, DOD, USGS, and USDA among others. It was great to hear these super bright, extremely talented scientists talk about science in their agencies and forming stronger cross-discipline standing and ad hoc working groups and think tanks to push science in the Federal government forward."

Dr. John A. Knauss, a '46 MIT alum, was nationally and internationally recognized as a leader in oceanography and marine policy and has had a lasting impact on marine science, policy and management in the United States. In partnership with Senator Claiborne Pell and Dr. Athelstan Spilhaus, Knauss was instrumental in the formulation and development of the National Sea Grant Program in 1966 and was the founder of the John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship program.

Dr. Knauss received his bachelor of science in meteorology from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1946. He went on to receive a Master of Science degree in Physics from the University of Michigan, and a PhD in oceanography from Scripps Institution of Oceanography in 1959.