Stefano Belfiore, a doctoral candidate in the Marine Policy Program at the University of Delaware, is among an elite group of 33 students from across the nation to receive the prestigious Dean John A. Knauss Fellowship for the year 2003. The year-long fellowship, sponsored by the National Sea Grant College Program in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), gives Belfiore the opportunity to work with marine policy experts in Washington, DC.
The fellowship program was established in 1979, and 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.
“Stefano Belfiore is a perfect choice for the Knauss Fellowship,” says Dr. Carolyn A. Thoroughgood, director of UD’s Sea Grant College Program and dean of the College of Marine Studies. “He is a hard worker and a thorough researcher with extensive international experience in the field of marine policy.”
Belfiore, whose year as a Knauss Fellow began February 1, has been assigned to the International Program Office (IPO) of NOAA’s National Ocean Service, an office dedicated to promoting coastal stewardship throughout the world. During his fellowship, he will assist the IPO in implementing “White Water to Blue Water” management in the Caribbean region. This initiative is designed to promote regional cooperation and strengthen the ability of developing countries to address land-based sources of marine pollution, challenges associated with tourism, and degradation of coastal areas, as well as promote sustainable fisheries.
“I am very proud to be selected as a Sea Grant Knauss Fellow,” says Belfiore. “I am particularly impressed by the network of Knauss fellows and alumni in the U.S. government. This is the only place in the world where a program such as Sea Grant exists to support researchers in marine policy.”
As a doctoral student at the University of Delaware, Belfiore has been working with his adviser, Dr. Biliana Cicin-Sain, to develop indicators that can measure the progress of integrated coastal management programs. He is evaluating programs at differing stages of maturity in the United States, Italy, Brazil, Tanzania, Sri Lanka, and Albania to determine signs of progress. This is a topic of increasing importance in the United States because new Congressional mandates require the establishment and monitoring of performance measures for coastal programs.
While conducting his doctoral research, Belfiore also served as both the chief research assistant at UD’s Center for the Study of Marine Policy and as a visiting scholar at NOAA’s Ocean and Coastal Resource Management Office. In this dual role, he recently collaborated with NOAA on several University-led initiatives such as the Global Conference on Oceans and Coasts at Rio 10 in Paris, France, in December 2001.
A native of Italy, Belfiore has a master’s in marine management from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and a bachelor of arts from the University of Genoa in Italy. Prior to enrolling at UD, Belfiore was Secretary-General of the International Centre for Coastal and Ocean Policy Studies in Genoa for seven years.