June is Ocean Month, and to celebrate STEM Rising is sharing profiles of Energy Department staff in ocean-related careers. Meet Simon Gore.
Simon Gore serves as a technical expert helping manage research and development projects for the marine energy and hydropower portfolios of the Water Power Technologies Office. In the marine energy space, he has been a key member of WPTO’s Powering the Blue Economy initiative, and is currently helping to lead the Waves to Water Prize and approaches for Resilient Coastal Communities. He originally joined the WPTO as a NOAA Sea Grant John A. Knauss Marine Science & Policy Fellow, and continues to support the program as an AST contractor.
What’s your favorite fact about the ocean?
If you take earth’s entire atmosphere and consider the amount of heat in storage, it only holds as much as the first 4 meters of the ocean. The ocean is a vast store of energy and heat, and this is why it is so fascinating from the energy perspective. Add in its tremendous biological productivity, carbon dynamics, and that it covers most of earth’s surface - it’s a wonder we don’t spend more time at sea or exploring its depths.
What do you do to celebrate Ocean Month?
I typically attend ocean themed events, such as Capitol Hill Ocean Week, or more local efforts like beach cleanup and monitoring. Ocean Month is a great time to remember why oceans are so important to our everyday lives and to refocus our efforts on their protection. I’m also an avid surfer so I will definitely be in the water this month to celebrate. For me, every month is Ocean Month.
What inspired you to work in water power?
There are so many interesting and fundamental challenges in water power and there are significant enabling functions from energy in terms of ocean science, exploration, resiliency, and other matters that I find deeply compelling and worthwhile. I’m also very interested in the evolution and the future or our coasts, and to me energy technologies have a tremendous role to play.
What do you do in your job?
I currently manage research and development efforts across a wide range of issues in the marine energy and blue economy sectors. I help with our prize efforts focused on wave powered desalination, as well as developing strategies for enabling marine energy in remote and coastal communities looking at energy resilience and links to the blue economy. I love this job for the wide range of challenges and opportunities as well as the way the daily routine navigates minor details of scientific research to developing, longer-term, high-level strategies for ocean research and innovation.
What books or movies about the ocean do you recommend?
The Hunt for the Red October is one of my favorite movies as well as Finding Nemo and the Abyss. As for books, I like Moby Dick and a great non-fiction read is The Oceans by Eelco Rohling.
Do you have any advice for people who want to work in ocean-related careers?
We live in exciting times in terms of ocean-related careers and there are many opportunities across research, economic matters, and technology innovation I’d suggest developing a focus and following your specific passions, for example I’m much more familiar with coastal systems research versus deep ocean research and exploration.
For more Ocean Month profiles and STEM resources, visit www.energy.gov/STEM