Dr. Heidi Waite

Science Officer


Heidi works to effectively connect the science and policy world. She believes in an interdisciplinary approach for tackling California ocean issues, bringing together natural science and social sciences to help create evidence-based policy. With a strong background in science communication, she aims to make science useful and accessible to all. Heidi currently works on projects related to climate ready fisheries, coastal resilience, and California’s 30×30 efforts.

Heidi originally joined the OST team in 2021 as a Presidential Graduate Opportunities for Leadership Development (GOLD) fellow with the UC Center Sacramento. Heidi assisted on several projects including conducting literature review on the human dimensions for otter reintroduction, assisting with the re-engagement of the Ocean Protection Council’s Science Advisory Team, and leading a letter to NOAA administrators outlining California’s progress in climate action. Following the fellowship, Heidi finished her PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology studying the impacts of climate change on coastal intertidal invertebrates. She has published research in the fields of ocean microplastics and temperature acclimation in coastal invertebrates. She now returns to OST in 2023 to continue to bridge the gap at the science-policy nexus as Science Officer.

Heidi received her PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of California Irvine. She also holds a M.S. in Conservation, Biodiversity & Management from the University of Oxford and a B.S. in Biology from the University of Central Florida.

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