Simon Geerlofs joined Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in 2009 and is now a senior advisor at the Marine and Coastal Research Laboratory specializing in partnerships, policy, and community engagement to support energy innovation in the Blue Economy. In this role, he leads and supports the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) efforts with partners to center communities in energy transition planning and ocean-based climate solutions.

Geerlofs leads partnership engagement for PNNL’s Coastal Sciences division, building relationships with public and private stakeholders, university partners, and DOE program offices to advance innovation in the Blue Economy. From 2018-2019, Geerlofs served on assignment to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Water Power Technologies Office to develop the Powering the Blue Economy initiative.

Prior to PNNL, Geerlofs gained extensive experience with communities and stakeholders advancing grass-roots coastal conservation as the marine programs manager for the Northwest Straits Commission. Before that, he served as a legislative assistant to Senator Maria Cantwell, working closely with Congress, constituents, agencies, and others to enact effective marine policy.

Research Interest

  • Stakeholder engagement and decision support for effective marine spatial planning and river basin energy/environmental opportunity assessment.
  • Understanding and mitigating environmental effects and conflicts with existing uses in deployment of marine renewable energy.
  • Application of coastal and ocean modeling to address estuarine and marine management questions.
  • Policy analysis and support of DOE Water Power Technologies Office program goals.


  • MA in marine affairs, University of Washington
  • BA in history and anthropology, University of Washington

Affiliations and Professional Service

  • DOE Representative to the US Coastal Research Program (2020-present)
  • Board Member (secretary), Washington Maritime Blue (2020-present)
  • Board Member (secretary), Northwest Straits Foundation (2017-present)
  • Member of the West Coast Governor’s Agreement on Ocean Health—Renewable Energy Action Coordination Team (2010-2015)
  • Member (representing US DOE) of the Oregon/BOEM-State/Federal Task Force for Offshore Renewable Energy (2011-2015)
  • Board Member, Oregon Wave Energy Trust (2012-2015)
  • John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellow, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (2005-2006)
  • Foss Fellow for Maritime and Waterfront Studies (2005)

Awards and Recognitions

  • John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellow, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 2006
  • Foss Fellow for Maritime and Waterfront Studies, 2005




  • Cotter E.D., R.J. Cavagnaro, A.E. Copping, and S.H. Geerlofs. 2021. "Powering Negative-Emissions Technologies with Marine Renewable Energy." In OCEANS 2021, September 20-23, San Diego, CA, 1-8. Piscataway, New Jersey:IEEE. PNNL-SA-164551. doi:10.23919/OCEANS44145.2021.9705807
  • Geerlofs, S.H. 2021 (in press). “Marine Energy and the New Blue Economy”. in “Preparing a Workforce for the New Blue Economy”. Edited by Rick Spinrad. Elsevier Press, London.


  • LiVecchi, A., Copping, A., Jenne, D., Gorton, A., Preus, R., Gill, G., Robichaud, R., Green, R., Geerlofs, S., Gore, S., Hume, D., McShane, W., Schmaus, C., H. Spence, H., 2019. Powering The Blue Economy; Exploring Opportunities for Marine Renewable Energy in Maritime Markets. U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Washington, D.C.


  • Larson K.B., J.D. Tagestad, C.J. Perkins, M.R. Oster, W.M. Warwick, and S.H. Geerlofs. 2015. "A Technical and Economic Optimization Approach to Exploring Offshore Renewable Energy Development in Hawaii."    PNNL-24639. Richland, WA: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.


  • Larson K.B, J Tagestad, SH Geerlofs, M Sanders, J Ahmann, J Busch, B Van Cleve. 2014. Offshore Wind and Wave Energy Feasibility Mapping for the Outer Continental Shelf off the State of Oregon. US Department of the Interior, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Pacific OCS Region, Camarillo, CA. OCS Study BOEM 2014-658. 40 pp.
  • Larson K.B., S.E. Niehus, J.D. Tagestad, K.D. Ham, S.H. Geerlofs, and M.C. Richmond. 2014. The Integrated Basin-Scale Opportunity Assessment Initiative: Pilot Assessment for the Deschutes River Basin. PNNL-23197. Richland, WA: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. The Integrated Basin-Scale Opportunity Assessment Initiative: Pilot Assessment for the Deschutes River Basin
  • Yang Z., T. Wang, A. Copping, and S.H. Geerlofs. 2014. "Modeling In-stream Tidal Energy Extraction and Its Potential Environmental Impacts." In Proceedings of the 10th European Wave and Tidal Energy Conference, 2013, n/a. London:European Wave and Tidal Energy Conference. PNNL-SA-98054.
  • Yang Z., T. Wang, A.E. Copping, and S.H. Geerlofs. 2014. "Modeling of In-stream Tidal Energy Development and its Potential Effects in Tacoma Narrows, Washington, USA." Ocean and Coastal Management 99. PNNL-SA-100989. doi:10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2014.02.010


  • Van Cleve, FB, C Judd, A Radil, J Ahmann, SH Geerlofs. 2013 Geospatial Analysis of Technical and Economic Suitability for Renewable Ocean Energy Development on Washington’s Outer Coast. PNNL-22554, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA.


  • Copping AE, and SH Geerlofs. 2011. The Contribution of Environmental Siting and Permitting Requirements to the Cost of Energy for Marine and Hydrokinetic Devices. In Proceedings of the 9th European Wave and Tidal Energy Conference, September 5-9, 2011, Southampton, United Kingdom.  EWTEC, Southampton, United Kingdom. 
  • Geerlofs, SH, R Sherman-O’Neil, L Hanna, H Battey. 2011. Siting Wave Energy on the Oregon Coast: The Oregon Territorial Sea Plan and Siting Analysis Tools. In the Implementing Agreement—Ocean Energy Systems Annual Report for 2011. Edited by A. Brito e Melo and J. Huckerby. Paris, France.
  • Geerlofs, S, N Voisin, K Ham, J Tagestad, T Harahan, A Coleman, J Saulsbury, A Wolfe, B Hadjerioua, K Stewart. 2011. The Integrated Basin-Scale Opportunity Assessment Initiative: Deschutes Basin Preliminary Hydropower Opportunity Assessment. PNNL-20802, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA.


  • Khangaonkar T., Z. Yang, S.H. Geerlofs, and A. Copping. 2010. "Overland Tidal Power Generation Using Modular Tidal Prism." In Estuarine and Coastal Modeling: Proceedings of the 11th International Conference, November 4-6, 2009, Seattle, WA, edited by ML Spaulding, 466-477. Reston, Virginia:American Society of Civil Engineers. PNNL-SA-71118. doi:10.1061/41121(388)28