Heather Altherr

MDP Student

As a student in the MDP program Heather Altherr is focusing on natural resource conservation and GIS through a social justice lens.

Heather has extensive experience working in sub-Saharan Africa on agriculture, conservation and technology projects. As a Peace Corps Volunteer in Zambia she worked with her community on agroforestry and gardening projects that resulted in the planting of over 3,500 trees, as well as working with women to improve gender equality through healthcare and education and even developed a radio program with other volunteers. She extended for a third year with the World Food Programme in the Mobile Development & Technology Unit and led projects that utilized technology and M&E to improve the quality and distribution of agriculture commodities with rural framers and school feeding programs.

Prior to joining the MDP program, Heather has worked in communications and digital media for NGO’s and social enterprises in South Africa, Zambia and the US. Her focus has been on merging data and storytelling to reach both local and international audiences to enact behavior change for the protection of natural resources. This has led her to working with rural communities to protect their forest in the Luangwa and Zambezi ecosystems on a pioneering REDD+ project —to creating videos and multimedia content on wildlife and environmental issues in South Africa —to building websites and creating innovative experiences with social media a for a museum in Washington DC.