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  Gov. Markell Appoints DSU's Dr. Heckscher to Natural Areas Council


Delaware Gov. Jack Markell has appointed Dr. Christopher Heckscher, DSU assistant professor of the College of Agriculture and Related Sciences, to serve as a member of the Delaware Natural Areas Advisory Council (DNAAC).
 
As an eight-member council created by state law, the DNAAC advises the cabinet secretary of the Delaware Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) on the administration of nature preserves and the preservation of natural areas.
 
As a governor’s appointment, Dr. Heckscher had to go through a state Senate confirmation hearing on March 26, during which time he received the legislators’ approval to serve on the council.
 
“In the field of conservation and the environment, it is a prestigious appointment,” Dr. Heckscher said, adding that he believes he is the first DSU faculty member to be appointed to the DNAAC.
 
Dr. Heckscher is both an entomologist (one who studies insects) and an ornithologist (one who studies birds).  Last year, he gained some notoriety within the entomology science community when he discovered a new species of firefly – Photuris mysticalampas –  which he substantiated in a published peer-reviewed paper.
 
In addition to his firefly research, he has also broken new ground in the study of the previously unknown migration patterns of the Veery songbird.
 
Dr. Heckscher has been a DSU faculty member since 2008.