Tethys knowledge management system: Working to advance the marine renewable energy industry


  • Jonathan Whiting Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
  • Andrea Copping Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
  • Mikaela Freeman Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
  • Amy Woodbury Pacific Northwest National Laboratory




database, environmental effects, emerging industry, knowledge management system, marine renewable energy


Development of the marine renewable energy (MRE) industry has been challenged by uncertainty about potential environmental effects, which has resulted in slowing of permitting/consenting processes, and ultimately to constraints on the industry. These challenges result from a lack of sufficient devices in the water from which to learn, a dearth of quality monitoring data, and a lack of accessibility to information about these effects in general. This paper describes an ongoing process to improve understanding of the environmental effects of MRE through a public, online knowledge management system funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, known as Tethys (https://tethys.pnnl.gov). Tethys collects and curates relevant documents while supporting a diverse international community through intentional outreach and synthesis activities, which occurs largely through an international collaboration under the IEA Ocean Energy System’s OES-Environmental, formerly known as Annex IV. After nearly ten years of operation, Tethys is internationally recognized and viewed as a trusted broker of information, with over 75,000 visitors annually. Tethys has provided clarity around environmental effects during a critical time in the industry when deployments are increasing in size and frequency.

Author Biography

Jonathan Whiting, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Jonathan Whiting is a researcher for the Coastal Sciences Division of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, located in the Seattle office. A civil engineer by training, Jonathan provides a blend of analytical thinking and an outgoing personality that has provided numerous opportunities while at PNNL. He has supported a varied portfolio of projects related to wind and marine renewable energy and environmental effects, numerical modeling for ecological restoration, oil spill trajectory modeling, and carbon storage monitoring. These experiences have fostered a skillset centered around data analysis and management, including risk-based analyses, GIS mapping, visual analytics, coding, and web development.




How to Cite

Whiting, J., Copping, A., Freeman, M., & Woodbury, A. (2019). Tethys knowledge management system: Working to advance the marine renewable energy industry. International Marine Energy Journal, 2(1 (Nov), 29–38. https://doi.org/10.36688/imej.2.29-38