Heidi Cullen

  • Director of Communications and Strategic Initiatives, Director of the IT Dissemination Division
  • Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute


Heidi Cullen serves as the Director of Communications and Strategic Initiatives and Director of the Information and Technology Dissemination (ITD) Division at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI). Before joining MBARI, Cullen served as Chief Scientist for Climate Central—a non-profit science communication organization she helped found in 2008. Cullen also served as The Weather Channel’s first on-air climate expert and helped create Forecast Earth, a weekly television series focused on issues related to climate change and the environment. Prior to that, Cullen worked as a research scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, CO. She received the NOAA Climate & Global Change Fellowship and spent two years at Columbia University’s International Research Institute for Climate and Society working to apply long-range climate forecasts to the water resources sector in Brazil and Paraguay.

Cullen is the author of The Weather of the Future published by Harper Collins in 2010. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from Columbia University and went on to receive a Ph.D. in climatology and ocean-atmosphere dynamics at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University. In 2017, Cullen received the National Audubon Society’s Rachel Carson Award for her work as a science communicator. She received the 2019 Friend of the Planet Award from the National Center for Science Education for outstanding contributions to the advancement of defending the teaching of climate science.

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