John Knauss is an ubiquitous icon. Anyone reading this magazine has either met, worked with, or had their career impacted by Dr. Knauss, whose work we are celebrating in this special issue of Oceanography. As you read the articles you’ll learn about John Knauss the researcher, John Knauss the educator, John Knauss the administrator, John Knauss the mentor, John Knauss the strategizer, and-notably-John Knauss the gentleman and leader.
John Knauss is a bridge. His career is a remarkable link for the oceanographic community. He brings a personal knowledge regarding the historical perspectives of the birth of the Office of Naval Research, or of the Law of the Sea, or of the Stratton Commission, and individuals whose names are the history of modern oceanography. He then spans this with his modern accomplishments at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and in the National Oceanographic Partnership Program. John Knauss is an eponym. His name is synonymous with the most successful fellowship program ever developed in the oceanographic community: the Dean John Knauss Sea Grant Fellowship. The outstanding alumni of this program now populate some of the United States’ most influential offices of policy and program in the oceanographic community-and are known by many as ‘Knauss Fellows.’ On the science side, there are many who argue that perhaps the Cromwell Current-the subject of Dr. Knauss’ Ph.D. Thesis-might better be known as the Knauss Current-now that’s an eponym!
John Knauss is a wonderful human being. 1 have had the pleasure and honor of knowing John for many years (though not nearly as long as the cumulative four centuries that our contributing authors for this issue have known him). His consistent ease of manner and common courtesy are remarkable for a man of his stature. His willingness to serve, whether it be as NOAA Administrator, or as reviewer of questions to be presented to high school students as part of the National Ocean Sciences Bowl, is a standard for all to note. We should all be so graceful.
So, on this, the occasion of his 75th birthday, we are delighted to dedicate this special issue of Oceanography to this icon, this bridge, this eponym, this wonderful human being: Dr. John Knauss. Happy Birthday, John!
– Richard W. Spinrad, Editor