Dr. Andrew B. Heckert '93
Dr. Heckert is a vertebrate paleontologist with predominately geological training.
All of his life, he has lived in educational settings, growing up in Oxford, Ohio, home to Miami University, before attending Denison University (Grenvillle, Ohio) where he furthered his interest in liberal arts education with an undergraduate degree in geology. All of his graduate work (MS and PhD) was out west at the University of New Mexico (Albuquerque, New Mexico). While finishing his dissertation he moved to Arizona (following Kristan to Columbia University's Biosphere 2 Center), then returned to New Mexico to work at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History before accepting an offer from Appalachian, where he now comfortably ensconced.
Andy finished M.S. (1997) and Ph.D. (2001) degrees at the University of New Mexico while authoring or co-authoring numerous papers on Mesozoic reptiles, stratigraphy, and biostratigraphy with his advisor, Dr. Spencer G. Lucas of the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science. After spending three years as the Geoscience Collections Manager at the NMMNHS, Andy landed a tenure track job in the Department of Geology at Appalachian State University, where, among other things, he oversees the McKinney Geology Teaching Museum.
"Field excavation can be grueling, and unforgiving. When time comes to flip a jacket, many person-days, or even person-weeks, of effort are evaluated instantly on a pass-fail basis. If it works, you’re much closer to bringing some unique piece of the earth’s past back to the museum. If it fails, it’s lost forever. The video below shows a passing grade on a 9-person crew’s third day in the field.