July 11, 2018

Congratulations to MIT Sea Grant's 2019 Knauss Finalist, Gualtiero Spiro

MIT Sea Grant is thrilled to congratulate MIT-WHOI Joint Program in Oceanography graduate student Gualtiero Spiro on his placement as a 2019 Knauss Finalist.

Gualtiero Spiro Jaeger was born in São Paulo, grew up in Zürich, has lived in California, briefly in Ghana, and is currently based in Boston. He worked for a renowned photographer in his native city before pursuing physics at the College of Creative Studies, at the sunny University of California Santa Barbara. Currently a PhD candidate in the MIT-WHOI Joint Program, he studies the ocean and climate system. Research takes him to the Indian Ocean, with an international project investigating the ocean’s influence on monsoon rainfall. Intrigued by the beauty of the seas and their profound influence on society, he wants to improve management of our marine and water wealth.

“The Knauss fellowship is one of Sea Grant’s flagship programs. Every class of Knauss fellows continues to raise the bar, and the 2019 finalists are no exception,” said Jonathan Pennock, Director of the National Sea Grant College Program. “I’m also happy to share that in response to growing demand for Sea Grant Knauss fellows in federal government offices, we are pleased to include two additional legislative fellowships for the 40th anniversary class.”

Knauss finalists are chosen through a competitive process that includes several rounds of review at both the state Sea Grant program and national levels. Students finishing Masters (M.S.), Juris Doctor (J.D.), and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) programs with a focus and/or interest in marine science, policy or management apply to one of the 33 Sea Grant programs. If applicants are successful at the state program level, their applications are then reviewed by a national panel of experts. This fall, the 2019 finalists will travel to Washington, D.C., to interview with several executive or legislative offices. Following placement, they will begin their fellowship in February 2019.

Executive appointments for the 2018 Knauss fellows included placements throughout NOAA as well as with Department of the Interior, National Science Foundation, U.S. Navy, and other agencies. Legislative placements included the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (Minority), the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure (Majority), the Senate Commerce Committee (Majority and Minority), the House Committee on Natural Resources (Minority), and several placements in both majority and minority Congressional offices.

This year’s Knauss finalists join a group of over 1,200 professionals who have received hands-on experiences transferring science to policy and management through one-year appointments with Federal government offices in Washington, D.C.

Knauss alumni go on to have successful careers in all sectors of society. Learn more about MIT Sea Grant's Knauss alumni by visiting "Where are they now?” on our website.


MIT-WHOI Joint Program in Oceanography PhD student Gualtiero Spiro was recently selected as a 2019 Knauss Finalist.