John A. Knauss was awarded the Waldo E. Smith Medal at the AGU Fall Meeting honors ceremony, which was held on 13 December 2006 in San Francisco, Calif. The medal recognizes extraordinary service to geophysics.

John Knauss has served as a leader and key decision-maker in the scientific community and the public sector for nearly six decades. From the start of his career he focused on the most fundamental elements of the physical dynamics of the ocean, developing the seminal thinking in topics as diverse as turbulence effects on acoustics and deep ocean current observations. His early work on the Cromwell current established John as a leading researcher in the geophysics community. He quickly established a global reputation for his seminal work on the current structure of many major ocean circulation features. By the mid 1960s, Knauss had already established his scientific credentials and leadership role, with a robust bibliography of technical papers in the most prestigious scientific journals. Notably, in the years leading to this position, John also worked as a naval officer at the newly formed U.S. Office of Naval Research and as a staff member of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography (La Jolla, Calif.).