Ms. Dunn has been in the ecological consulting business for over 35 years. She founded Ecological Specialists, Inc. in 1990 and is president of the company. She holds a B.S. degree from Purdue University and an M.S. from Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville where she completed her Master of Science thesis on unionid relocation in the Ohio River basin.
Heidi has successfully completed hundreds of environmental analysis and assessments, licensing surveys, and faunal inventories dealing with fish, invertebrates, and freshwater mussels throughout the United States. She has conducted field work in over 80 rivers and streams throughout North America. Much of her work involves endangered species, particularly unionids (freshwater mussels). This includes surveys and mitigation design and advice for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, state and federal agencies (including D.O.T.s and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service), as well as private corporations. She is experienced with developing protocols for conducting surveys, long-term monitoring, unionid relocations, impact assessment, Section 7 (endangered species act) consultation, and regulatory agency coordination and she has written numerous Biological Assessments. She has effectively orchestrated many mitigation solutions between industry and regulatory agencies, including unionid relocations and monitoring studies at bridge and pipeline sites, barge unloading facilities, hydropower facilities, and mining and dredging operations. Her primary interest is in large river and stream ecology and her taxonomic expertise includes unionid mussels, aquatic oligochaetes, and fish.
She has served as an expert unionid mussel and invertebrate witness for a municipal wastewater treatment plant, power plant, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. She has been invited to present papers on mussel sampling at workshops for FMCS and SFS (formerly NABS) and conduct workshops on mussel habitat, identification, and sampling techniques. She is also an instructor for the Conservation Biology of Freshwater Mussel course at the USFWS National Conservation Training Center.
Ms. Dunn is certified in SCUBA (PADI Dive Master), ADCI Diver, EFR CPR/First Aid, DAN Oxygen First Aid, Hazmat, and boat safety. She often serves as a back-up diver on U.S. Army Corps of Engineer projects. Ms. Dunn is President-Elect for the Freshwater Mollusk Conservation Society and an active member of the Upper Mississippi River Conservation Committee, Ohio River Valley Mollusk Team, North American Benthological Society, and American Fisheries Society.
She received a Meritorious Service Award from FMCS and the John L. Funk Award of Excellence from Missouri Chapter of AFS.