About Kelly Heber

Me in the Florida Keys

Sea grass bed in the Florida Keys

I am Kelly Heber, a PhD Student focused on ecosystem science, policy, economics, and coral reefs in the MIT Science Impact Collaborative and an advisee of Professor Lawrence Susskind. An MIT Presidential Fellow , Policy and Environmental Governance Fellow, Carroll Wilson Awardee, and a social scientist by training, my research looks at coral reefs. More specifically reef ecosystem services, conceptualizing reefs as complex socio-ecological systems, and using Indonesian and Malaysian coral reef villages as field sites. I am interested in ways that communities manage their coral reefs to enhance human and ecological well-being and respond to unexpected disturbances related to climate change. My research draws on common pool resource theory, institutional analysis, theories of adaptive co-management, and collaborative natural resource management. My departmental websites can be found here and here. Check out my blog entries listed in the archives and categorized on the lower left hand side of this page.

Diving the Blue Heron Bridge

Diving the Blue Heron Bridge

I am a researcher at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute Marine Policy Center through the WHOI Guest Student Program. I am supervised by Professor Porter Hoagland where I work on an NSF Funded Coastal SEES Project on the economic valuation of ecosystem services in large urban estuaries, specifically the Hudson River. I also take classes for my PhD at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. I serve as a teaching assistant for a variety of courses ranging from statistical research design to the department’s Malaysia practicum on sustainable development. My instructor reviews as well as syllabi from the courses I help teach can be found in the Teaching Reviews section on this website.

I am interested in models that link ecosystem science and economics. I received a scholarship in spring 2014 for training in modeling methods at Stanford University’s NatCap Program. I am also a recent winner of the EPA’s Coastal Data Challenge involving its National Aquatic Resources Survey Data for a project using econometric methods to model benthic ecosystem health to local marine economies in Florida and the Gulf.

Christ Church College, Oxford

Christ Church College, Oxford just after exams!

I hold an MSc from the University of Oxford Center for the Environment, specialized in ecosystem services valuation, GIS-based spatial analysis, and community-based natural resource management. There I was offered the prestigious Clarendon Award. I wrote my masters thesis on ecological restorations, ecosystem services, and adaptive management in the Everglades. My scholarly mentors and advisors include Marta Lang and Paul Jepson.

Before that, I taught for two years with Teach for America in Washington D.C. while working on a contractual basis for DataGrid Inc. as a Natural Resource Management Specialist in land use planning in Uganda. I hold a B.A. from the University of Florida, where I graduated magna cum laude, with Phi Beta Kappa honors. And way back when,  I was the valedictorian of the 2005 graduating class of A.W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts.

Contact me:

email: k_heber1@mit.edu

Twitter: @Kelly_Heber here

My Oxford Blog: http://twocornishchoughs.blogspot.com/

Related links:

Iain Dunning, MIT PhD candidate in applied mathematics: here

Viresh Patel, Oxford DPhil Student in Geography and Environment: here

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