- M.S. Biology, Georgia Southern University, GA
- B.S. Environmental Science/Marine Science, Jacksonville University, FL
- 2017–Present: Communications and Social Media Manager for the Northeast Fisheries Science Center, Woods Hole, MA
- 2013–2016: Communications Specialist for the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, Edgewater, MD
- 2007–2016: Research Assistant for the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, Edgewater, MD
- 2005–2007: Faculty Research Assistant for Hatfield Marine Science Center, Oregon State University, Newport, OR
- 2000–2005: Faculty Research Assistant for the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory, University of Maryland, Solomons, MD
- 1998–1999: Research Statistician for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Annapolis, MD
Heather spent much of her academic research career studying the biology and ecology of coastal and marine ecosystems. During that time, she also sought opportunities to communicate complex and sometimes contentious science topics. In 2013, she saw a need for relatable and engaging science communication and started creating a variety of digital and print science communication content for the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. It wasn’t long before she decided to transition her career from scientist to science communicator.
In 2017, Heather began working at NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center as their social media manager. She creates multimedia content for all their science communication channels: web, blogs, newsletters, social media, and printed materials. She also works with scientists, communications colleagues, students, and interns on their blogs, outreach materials, and presentations to help ensure their content is clear, concise, and effective.
As a science communicator, Heather studies how organizations and businesses structure and implement communication plans and products. She also actively studies marketing and digital media trends to help her create products that satisfy consumer expectations in a quickly evolving digital world.
Heather’s science and research experience include:
- Planning and implementing field and laboratory research in freshwater, estuarine, and marine ecosystems along the Atlantic, Gulf, and Pacific Coast of the U.S. and Panamanian Coast as it related to climate change, fisheries, biodiversity, ocean acidification, systems ecology, water quality, human impacts, multiple stressors, invasive species, and natural resources
- Performing data management and analysis, and preparing reports and peer-review manuscripts while collaborating with other federal, state, and academic institutions
- Presenting research at national conferences and stakeholder meetings