Kniffin Named Director of Marine Ops at Rosenstiel School

Richard Kniffin

VIRGINIA KEY, Fla.  – A seasoned sailor, long-time friend of the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, and the first-ever captain of the School’s research vessel, the F.G. Walton Smith, Richard Kniffin has returned after nine years to become the School’s new Director of Marine Operations.

Born and raised in Miami, Fla., Kniffin spent his early adult life working as a commercial diver, and as a captain aboard vessels throughout Florida and the Bahamas. He joined the University of Miami in 1992, and served aboard several Rosenstiel School vessels, eventually becoming the captain of the R/V Calanus. After years of successful scientific cruises, the R/V Calanus was retired and Kniffin became the first captain of the School’s newly commissioned 96-foot catamaran. In 2000, Kniffin switched careers, becoming a full time yacht broker.

“I have always been interested in ocean exploration and marine science, which are the driving forces behind ship operations at the Rosenstiel School,“ said Kniffin. “It feels good to be back at the School after nearly a decade, in a role where I can use my experience, dedication and personal history to help the school maintain safe and successful marine operations.”

About the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School
Founded in the 1940’s, the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science has grown into one of the world’s premier marine and atmospheric research institutions. Offering dynamic interdisciplinary academics, the Rosenstiel School is dedicated to helping communities to better understand the planet, participating in the establishment of environmental policies, and aiding in the improvement of society and quality of life. For more information, please visit

Media Contacts:

Barbra Gonzalez
UM Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science
Marie Guma-Diaz
UM Media Relations Office

richard kniffin •  f.g walton smith •  administration •