Karla Heidelberg is an Associate Professor of Teaching in the Biology Department and the Director of the USC Program in Environmental Studies. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Maryland, College Park in 1999. After a postdoc, she became an AAAS Science Policy Fellow at the U.S. State Department in the Office of Oceans Affairs and received a Superior Honor Award for overall job performance. Subsequently, she joined the J. Craig Venter Institute and coordinated a global research expedition to evaluate marine microbial biodiversity. Since coming to USC in 2006, she has led several NSF-funded projects related to biological oceanography and STEM education. She also maintains a faculty appointment with the USC Wrigley Marine Science Center on Catalina Island. Her expertise is in environmental microbiology, coral reef ecology, and STEM education. She has worked in many places including Antarctica, hydrothermal vents on the ocean floor and to multiple continents. She serves as an Associate Editor for Frontiers in Microbiology and is on the editorial board of Microbiome. She received the USC Steven B. Sample Mentoring and Teaching award and recently has been appointed as a National Academies Education Fellow.
Heidelberg has a passion for teaching and routinely teaches USC courses on the main campus and abroad. As a CET Fellow she will work to strengthen curriculum design in the biological and environmental sciences and fostering creative cross-disciplinary academic collaborations that enhance the educational experience for students and faculty in all STEM fields.