Gerhard F. Kuska and Gonzalo A. Cid, doctoral students in the Marine Policy Program at the University of Delaware, are among an elite group of 37 students from across the nation to receive the prestigious Dean John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship for the year 2002. The year-long fellowship is sponsored by the National Sea Grant College Program in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and will enable Kuska and Cid to work at a government agency in Washington, DC, on marine policy issues.
“We are very honored to have two of our students receive this highly competitive fellowship,” says Dr. Carolyn A. Thoroughgood, director of the University’s Sea Grant College Program and dean of the College of Marine Studies. “Students who receive the Knauss Fellowship have a unique opportunity to work directly with policy experts in the nation’s capital. This experience is invaluable to their future career goals.”
The fellowship program was established in 1979 and was named in honor of one of Sea Grant’s founders, former NOAA Administrator and dean of oceanography at the University of Rhode Island, John A. Knauss. Recipients are matched to a host agency in the legislative and executive branches of the federal government based upon their background and interests.
Gerhard Kuska will be working in the office of Senator Ron Wyden from Oregon. Wyden’s office is active in many marine-related issues, such as the protection of commercially important fisheries on the West Coast and reauthorization of several major pieces of legislation relating to the management of fisheries and marine mammals. Kuska’s duties will range from preparing background information to developing policy goals to analyzing and tracking pending legislation.
“I am very excited to have been selected to work in Senator Wyden’s office,” says Kuska. “During my fellowship, I hope to gain practical insight into how legislative ideas are generated and developed and how legislative committees function, as well as understand the challenges involved in achieving bipartisan solutions to marine-related issues.”
As a doctoral student at the University of Delaware, Kuska has been working with his adviser, Dr. Biliana Cicin-Sain, to determine how collaboration and coordination among U.S. federal ocean and coastal programs can be improved. Prior to attending graduate school, Kuska was an assistant vice-president at an international maritime transportation company. During his free time, he was active in educational and outreach activities in coastal management at the Monterey Bay Aquarium in Monterey, California.
Gonzalo Cid will be working in the International Program Office of NOAA’s National Ocean Service, an office dedicated to promoting coastal stewardship throughout the world. Cid will assist office staff in developing global policies that will help protect marine environments in areas such as Southeast Asia and the Caribbean.
“Being selected as a Knauss fellow is an honor and a responsibility,” says Cid. “It is a tremendous opportunity to work in the real world — close to where the decisions are being made. As a fellow in the International Program Office, I will be able to gain experience in developing international partnerships that will promote the effective management of coastal areas.”
Cid is especially pleased to be assigned to this office, as he considers it to be an extension of his doctoral research at the University of Delaware. His adviser is also Dr. Cicin-Sain, and they are evaluating how free-trade agreements may affect a country’s institutional structures, policy decisions, and coastal management programs. A native of Chile, he enrolled in the Ph.D. program at Delaware after receiving his master’s degree in oceanography from the University of Concepción in Chile and working for two different United Nations programs in coastal management.