Heather R. Taft, Ph.D. - Online Science Faculty and Writer


I have had a passion for biology since I was a kid backpacking through the Sierras, skiing in Lake Tahoe, and camping throughout California.  I knew I wanted to spend my life helping protect these wonderful species I encountered in wild places.  I received my Ph.D. in Biology from the University of California, Riverside. The focus of my dissertation was on conservation genetics.  I also have an M.S. in Education from the University of Wisconsin - Stout and a Graduate Certificate in E-learning and Online Teaching. Much of my work for my M.S. focused on designing and facilitating online science classes, including labs.

I teach graduate classes in conservation for Project Dragonfly in conjunction with the Brookfield Zoo, San Diego Zoo Global, Denver Zoo, and the Wildlife Conservation Society. I was Lead Faculty for Natural and Physical Science at Colorado State University Global, until the pandemic hit causing cuts in staff. I taught, revised, and oversaw revisions for online science courses, many of which included labs. I also spent time as the chairperson for the Strategic Planning Committee withing the Society for Conservation Biology's Conservation Genetics Working Group.

I have four publications in peer-reviewed journals and a passion for writing for the public. My writing can be found in Science, The Chronicle for Higher Education, Model Aviation, the Children's magazine Highlights, and on the Cheetah Conservation Fund website.  Current projects have taken me towards science-based books for kids.  I'm working on a children's chapter book, and have plans for more non-fiction books for kids and adults in the future.