June is Ocean Month, and to celebrate it STEM Rising is sharing profiles of Energy Department staff in ocean-related careers. Meet Charles Scaife.
Charles Scaife is a Knauss Marine Policy Fellow with the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Water Power Technologies Office. Scaife is currently a PhD Student of Environmental Sciences at the University of Virginia while also working as a Knauss Marine Policy Fellow. His research is focused on the interactions between ecology and hydrology and how we can better manage our environmental systems to create sustainable waterways.
What’s your favorite fact about the ocean?
The Gulf Stream flows 300 times faster than the Amazon River and capturing <1% of its energy could power all of Florida and then some.
What do you do to celebrate Ocean Month?
For me, celebrating Ocean Month means supporting my community of environmental advocates. Whether that’s clean-ups along my local shoreline, visiting coastal National Parks, participating in citizen science, or reading up on the latest non-fiction book, I hope to find one way to meaningfully celebrate the Ocean this month.
What inspired you to work in water power?
The Water Power Office funds cutting edge research in renewable ocean energy. In school, I studied environmental sciences and it was my dream to become a scientist who made a difference. At the Water Power Office, I get use my training as an ecologist and hydrologist to help support the development of environmentally sustainable sources of energy.
What do you do in your job?
One of my jobs it to help support outreach and community engagement for our prizes like the Waves to Water Prize and Ocean Observing Prize. Competitors in our prizes are challenged to do tasks like desalinate water using only wave energy, and my job is to ensure that their novel technologies are robust, successful, and ultimately marketable to potential investors.
What books or movies about the ocean do you recommend?
“Beautiful Swimmer” by William W. Warner – If you call the Chesapeake Bar Region home, this book is a must read. It follows the beloved blue crabs and their cultural, economic, and ecological importance in the region.
Do you have any advice for people who want to work in ocean-related careers?
It’s never too late start, especially in ocean energy! Ocean energy technologies are growing so quickly that whether you’re a mechanical engineer, ecologist, investor, utilities manager, or renewable energy advocate there’s a place for you.
Read more Ocean Month career profiles and learn about STEM resources at the STEM Rising website, https://www.energy.gov/STEM