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CMAST’s Heather Broadhurst Receives Award

Heather Broadhursts (left) with CVM CMAST's Dr. Craig Harms at Monday's ceremony.
Heather Broadhursts (left) with CVM CMAST’s Dr. Craig Harms at Monday’s ceremony.

In a ceremony on the NCSU main campus in Raleigh on Monday, CMAST’s Heather Broadhurst was awarded the College of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Sarah Joyner Memorial Staff Excellence Award.

Heather began working as a technician for the Department of Clinical Sciences supporting the CVM’s research, field services practice and teaching at the NCSU Center for Marine Sciences and Technology (CMAST) in early 2011. She rapidly became an indispensable part of CMAST’s efforts and mastered a diverse array of skills.

Her routine duties are maintaining laboratory inventory, ordering supplies and medications, updating laboratory safety plans, truck maintenance, sample processing, submission and archiving, tracking diagnostic samples and laboratory reports, stocking field services kits, organizing cadavers and supplies for teaching laboratories (getting just the right thaw on a dolphin carcass is an art), facilitating research projects of residents, graduate students, and veterinary students, and providing direct support on clinical field services calls to the NC Aquariums, Sea Turtle Hospital, and marine mammal and sea turtle strandings.

During a live whale stranding response, having what you need at just the right time is critical, and Heather has demonstrated great skill at this. Keeping the high volume and variety of samples straight, while recording data, in windy sand-blasting weather, and then cleaning up afterwards an enormous task, which Heather handles calmly and efficiently. She also helps the DoCS team maintain good relations with agencies and advocacy groups focused on protected species, which in the wrong hands can be a political minefield.

She has written and presented abstracts on CVM CMAST’s sea turtle rehabilitation and medicine rotation at the International Sea Turtle Symposium in Baltimore, and on medical and supportive care for debilitated cownose rays at the Regional Aquatics Workshop in Wilmington, NC. On her own initiative she writes regular contributions about NCSU CVM’s coastal activities to Carolina Salt, a print and on-line magazine promoting the Crystal Coast, which highlights CVM CMAST’s presence to an audience that would otherwise be unaware, as well as for the CMAST website and FaceBook PR postings.

She serves on the Coastal Science Café committee, bringing interesting research speakers to lay audiences in an informal dining environment for community outreach on the relevance of coastal research to the lives of residents and visitors.

Congratulations and well done, Heather!