A new director took the helm of the NRS’s Sedgwick Reserve this March. A marine biologist by training, Heather B. Constable brings scientific expertise and experience facilitating field research to the position, including five years with the UC Natural Reserve System.
“We are so excited to have Dr. Heather Constable join the amazing team at UCSB’s Sedgwick Reserve. Her passion for the Natural Reserve System, coupled with her impressive credentials, extensive expertise and “can-do” approach will undoubtedly keep Sedgwick amongst the top tier of research field stations in the world, and will lead to new opportunities and knowledge as we all strive for a sustainable and healthy future,” says Marion Wittmann, Executive Director of the UC Santa Barbara Natural Reserve System.
Until recently, Constable served as the campus administrative officer for the UC Riverside Natural Reserve System, a network of six reserves and satellite protected lands. Before her work at UC Riverside, she was the Administrative Officer for UC Berkeley’s seven reserves.
Constable has extensive experience working with natural history museum collections and biodiversity informatics. She has shared her knowledge as an instructor for international workshops in collaboration with the Global Biodiversity Information Facility. When not working, Heather enjoys traveling, scuba diving, and nature hikes.
Constable earned a master’s degree from San Francisco State University, and a doctorate from Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand. For her PhD, she studied marine biogeography and population genetics.
Joining Constable at Sedgwick is her husband Douglas Long, PhD, who is a natural history curator, professor, and field biologist.
Getting to know Sedgwick during California’s most extreme winter in years has been an adventure for both Constable and Long. “We’ve had a wild first week with rainbows, snow, hail, floods, tornado warnings, and power outages,” Constable says.
But the glories of the reserve have outshone the challenge, Constable says. “The vernal swale is bubbling with tadpoles and wildflowers are springing up. The staff and volunteers are absolutely amazing, and I’m really looking forward to serving the reserve community.”