About Me

RIVER OTTER RESEARCH – Citizen Scientist Link

If you are reporting otter sign or observations please use the hyperlink above to do so.  Thank you for your time and energy on this project.

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Dr. Heide Island

I am a southeast Alaskan transplant (from Juneau), where after a ridiculous number of years in schooling and tangential career changes, my husband, Tom and I moved to northwest Oregon on the Columbia River. Although the Portland area is home now, I’ve lived in a number of other states before settling on one permanently, including: Alaska, Colorado, Washington, Hawai’i, Montana, and Arkansas. Careers eventually brought Tom and I to the Portland area.  During different periods of my life, I worked as a deck hand on a commercial fishing boat (FV The Blue Zephyr), a research assistant out of Gustavus, Alaska conducting harbor seal, cow-calf population scans, as a research naturalist for Pacific Whale Foundation (Hawai’i), a kayaking guide and naturalist for Adlersheim Wilderness Lodge (Juneau, Alaska), and now for the better part of 12 years at Pacific University in Forest Grove, as a Comparative Animal Behaviorist and Behavioral Neuroscience professor.  I have a curiosity for unexplored places, food, and new opportunities.  I have learned, regardless of how much it makes your heart race, saying, “yes” to a new opportunity is the best way to experience fully, a happy life, both personally and professionally.  

If I’m not traveling or teaching at Pacific University, I spend my time researching foraging behavior of the North American river otter at the Oregon Zoo  or on Whidbey Island along Admiral’s Cove and Admiralty Bay.

The photos below are a plug for Ocean Futures, an experience I was privileged to contribute to as part of an Earthwatch service project, with Jean Michel-Cousteau evaluating coral reef health and the impact of the crown of thorns on zooxanthellae in Fiji.

 

 

 

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