ASU wildlife biologist honored for mentoring students

March 2, 2015

Helping living things thrive is not just a career for Arizona State University professor Heather Bateman – it’s a way of life.

As a field ecologist and conservation biologist, the associate professor in the College of Letters and Sciences at ASU’s Polytechnic campus spends a good part of her days teaching, researching and thinking about how amphibians, reptiles and birds are faring in habitats altered by human influence. wildlife biologist Heather Bateman in her lab Download Full Image

In equal measure, she generously works to ensure that ASU is preparing next-generation wildlife conservationists to thrive and serve.

Earlier this month, Bateman’s outstanding dedication to leadership and professional development in students was recognized by her peers with the 2015 Award for Professional Service at the regional meetings of The Wildlife Society, the national professional organization for wildlife biology and conservation.

Eight ASU undergraduates and two graduate students in applied biological sciences and environmental resource management participated in the conference in Las Cruces, New Mexico, Feb. 5 -7, which was the 48th joint annual meeting of the Arizona and New Mexico chapters of the Wildlife Society and the Arizona/New Mexico chapter of the American Fisheries Society.

“This award is well-deserved recognition for Heather and the good work she is doing both in research and teaching,” said Chris Martin, head of the faculty of Science and Mathematics in the College of Letters and Sciences. “It also shines a spotlight on our wildlife program in applied biological sciences and student-centered approach to learning and doing science.”

Undergraduate and Barrett Honors College student Brett Montgomery, who has been working in professor Bateman’s lab on ASU’s Polytechnic campus since fall 2013 and is completing an honor’s thesis under her direction, said the attention she devotes as a scholar-mentor is impressive.

“In every class that I’ve had with Heather, I’ve had the opportunity to do a research project, either in the field or in a lab setting,” Montgomery said. “She has taught many students how to design a research study, follow through with the results and present it in a professional fashion."

He added: “She always has a million different projects going on between grad students, undergrad researchers in her lab and other students with projects in her regular classes, but she’s very intentional with her mentoring, taking time to give advice and help out on each individual project. She cares about each and every student, and wants us all to succeed.”

ASU alumnus Ryan Anthony, who coordinated Bateman’s nomination for the award, notes in his submission letter that she is “an exemplary biologist living to the highest standards of our profession. … By developing young students, she has insured a future for wildlife conservation.”

A 2014 graduate who is now a master’s student at Sul Ross State University and engaged in wildlife biology research in the Big Bend region of Texas, Anthony also emphasized the work Bateman does to encourage and support students’ involvement in The Wildlife Society (TWS) conferences.

As part of the regional meetings of the Arizona and New Mexico TWS chapters, Bateman now organizes a wildlife quiz bowl that mirrors the Jeopardy-like contest undergraduates compete in at the national meeting of TWS. She took an ASU team to nationals for the first time in 2013, in Milwaukee.

“I became involved in The Wildlife Society meetings when I was a student, and I see developing that collegiality as an important natural step for all of our majors,” said Bateman, who joined ASU in 2008 after earning a doctorate at the University of New Mexico and completing a post doctoral in Montana with the USDA Forest Service.

“The Wildlife Society is the place to connect and collaborate with other scientists and professional experts in our field to share information and learn from each other.”

Maureen Roen

Director, Creative Services, College of Integrative Sciences and Arts


ASU to host economic development experts

March 2, 2015

The upcoming ASU Annual Public Finance Conference, March 12-13 in downtown Phoenix, will bring together experts from around the country to explore innovations in public finance. Attendees have the chance to gain insight and strategies from the leaders of large-scale projects, including entertainment, culture and social impact financing for economic development.

Keynote speaker Kent Hiteshew, director of the Office of State and Local Finance, will share observations on the role of the new office. Hiteshew will also explore the new and upcoming federal activities addressing local governments' rebound from the recession. ASU Public Finance Conference Download Full Image

Hiteshew’s office at the U.S. Department of Treasury was established in 2014 in response to requests for help from local jurisdictions facing fiscal and financial challenges.

“Financial capacity in the public sector is one of the key challenges in governance,” said Jonathan Koppell, dean, College of Public Service and Community Solutions. “Without intelligent innovation in finance, city officials will be hard-pressed to build the infrastructure and implement the change needed to build strong communities.”

“Our annual municipal finance workshop is one of the many ways we bring together researchers and practitioners to generate real solutions and implement constantly-evolving practices,” said Koppell.

“This is a unique opportunity to gain insights from practitioners around the U.S. and Canada, to hear from experts from the private and public sectors, to learn from other communities and to take away tangible tools,” said Karen Mossberger, director of the School of Public Affairs, part of the College of Public Service and Community Solutions.

Longtime business journalist and former managing editor at Bloomberg News, William Glasgall, will lead the opening panel discussion on public finance and how his team at Volcker Alliance is addressing the State Budget Crisis Task Force.

Glasgall oversaw coverage of state and local government and financial news at Bloomberg that won awards from the National Press Club Foundation and other organizations.

Other sessions will bring experts from around the country to share insight and lessons learned working in the public finance space.

"Last year we partnered to develop a guidebook on various financing options for use by local and national governments with the Smart Cities Council,” said Kevin Desouza, associate dean for research for the College of Public Service and Community Solutions. “The future of financing public sector projects in all areas from infrastructure to social services and education needs to be carefully considered. As the nature of financial instruments continues to get complicated and innovations in the financial marketplace occur, forums such as ASU’s Public Finance Conference are important avenues to debate and design solutions."

The closing panel will be devoted to sports and cultural amenities financing with notable guests Paul Dolan, CEO of the Cleveland Indians, Jeffrey Patchen, president and CEO of the Indianapolis Children’s Museum, Simon Farbrother, city manager of Edmonton, Canada, and Mark Rosentraub, director of the University of Michigan Center for Sports Management.

For more information on the ASU Public Finance Conference, visit

Written by Adrianna Ovnicek

Heather Beshears

director marketing and communications, College of Public Service and Community Solutions