Energy from currents, tides, and waves is a crucial part of reaching clean energy targets and addressing climate change. But harnessing this predictable and environmentally friendly energy source requires an eye to the future. This future includes both the communities along the coast and the people who develop, manufacture, and support energy technologies.
“There’s a weekly lunch with the scientists that lets us hear from individual scientists how broad the research is and also how they developed their careers,” said David Cancino, a Washington State University senior studying biology with plans to apply to graduate school. This summer he monitored an eelgrass field in Sequim, adding measurements to a database that catalogs the influences of climate change as far back as 1991. “I didn’t know the specifics about eelgrass before the internship. Before, I always wanted to work with large marine mammals, but this experience has made me want to focus more on ecology and the entire system.”
Overall, the educational benefits of the program are expected to ripple out from the teachers and reach over 1,600 students in the next year alone. For many of these students, this is the first time they may be learning of possible careers in marine renewable energy.