Bio & CV

“let the beauty we love be what we do.”

Heather is now a postdoctoral scientist at NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center in Woods Hole, MA. She works in the passive acoustics group there and is currently working on a new Caribbean humpback whale project and the cod project. Heather received her Ph.D. in Marine Science and Conservation from the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University in Spring 2016. She spent four of her five years in Beaufort, NC out at the Duke University Marine Lab. Heather graduated from the University of Connecticut with a B.S. in Environmental Science and graduated with her Master of Environmental Management degree from Duke University in Coastal Environmental Management. Her master’s project focused on spinner dolphins around the Island of Hawaii and the impacts of human interactions (tourism) on these dolphins. Her project culminated in From Norris to Now, a web-based timeline on the evolution of spinner dolphin science and management and a publication in the Journal of Sustainable Tourism, “Using Ostrom’s common-pool resource theory to build toward an integrated ecosystem-based sustainable cetacean tourism system in Hawai`i.”

For her dissertation she worked on the Soundscape Ecology of Hawaiian Spinner Dolphin Resting Bays for her dissertation using acoustics as a tool to understand how the dolphins use different areas, how humans affect the soundscape and how our activities affect the animals.

In addition to her research, Heenehan is an award-winning teacher having received the Duke University Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. She is also a passionate about outreach and science communication. She is on the leadership team and Executive Board for the Scientific Research and Education Network (SciREN). SciREN, is a 501c3 aimed at connecting scientists with educators. The goal of SciREN is to foster the translation and dissemination of current scientific work to educators and to help enhance the science literacy of today’s youth. Heenehan is also passionate about encouraging girls to pursue STEM fields and has participated in many events targeting girls in STEM. She was also a blogger for the Huffington Post Girls in STEM Initiative.

Please use this link for a PDF of my CV (updated August 2016) Heenehan_CVAug2016



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