Geography Profile
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Texas A&M University
CSA 205D
MS 3147,
College Station, Texas 77843


  •  GEOG 203 - Planet Earth Systems
  • GEOG 330 - Resources and the Environment
  • GEOG 380 - Environmental Workshop: Water Use at Texas A&M University

Graduate Students:

Dr. William D. Heyman

Associate Professor

Ph.D. University of South Carolina, Marine Sciences, 1996

M.S. University of South Carolina, Marine Sciences, 1992

B.S. Biology and Environmental Studies, Tufts University, cum laude 1987


Dr. Heyman is interested in the science and sustainable management of tropical coastal and marine systems. He has worked in the Bahamas, Turks and Caicos Islands, the Marshall Islands, Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico, the Cayman Islands, Los Roques Venezuela, and most extensively in Belize. He is generally interested in the relationship between humans and the environment and utilizes multi-disciplinary approaches to study these interactions. In addition to the science, he is dedicated to generating practical and useful guidance for resource managers. In order to generate relevant information for managers, he collaborates with colleagues from a wide set of disciplines including hydrology, oceanography, fisheries and marine ecology, physical geography, anthropology, economics, and utilizes tools of remote sensing, and GIS. His recent research interest centers on the reproductive ecology of reef fish spawning aggregations, e.g. snappers and groupers, and strategies for their conservation and management.


  • Conservation biology
  • Marine protected areas
  • Human-environment interaction
  • Reproductive ecology of reef fish spawning aggregations
  • Land-sea interactions
  • Marine geomorphology
  • Ecosystem-based management
  • Belize
  • Caribbean


  • U.N. funded environmental program in Los Roques, Venezuela, and Belize. Fisherman exchange program studying the conservation of refish, and investigating aggregation patterns.
  • Researching for the "Voice of Fishermen" project, where research is done by surveying the local fishermen on their opinions and activities for conservation activities.
  • Conservation International-funded project evaluating the effect of dive tourism on reef fish spawning aggregation behavior in Belize.
  • Geomorphology of reef fish spawning aggregations along with Ph.D. student Shinichi Kobara.
  • Co-Chairing a Symposium at American Association of Geographers (AAG) with Dawn Wright called "Marine Geomorphology as a Determinant for Essential Life Habitat I-IV: An Ecosystem Manaagement Approach to Planning for Marine Reserve Networks," Boston - April 16, 2008.


  • Associate Professor of Geography Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, May 2006 - present
  • Associate Research Scientist in the Departments of Oceanography and Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, Jan. 2005 - March 2006
  • Senior Marine Scientist for the Meso-American Reef Program. The Nature Conservancy, Meso-American Reef, Sept. 2002 - June 2004
  • Marine Projects coordinator. The Nature Conservancy, Meso-American Reef, July 1999 - Sept. 2002
  • Regional Site Technical Adviser. The Nature Conservancy, Gulf of Honduras, Feb. 1996 - July 1998


  • Spawning Aggregation Ecotourism: What is the effect of divers on reef fish spawning behavior? Funded by Conservation International’s Marine Management Area Science Program for March 2008 – December 2009, $102,746.
  • Integrating multi-media technology into geographic education. Reuben Rose-Redwood and Will Heyman. Funded by: Instructional Enhancement/Equipment Fee Funds, Department of Geography, Texas A&M University, April 2008, $9,729.
  • Characterizing Fish Spawning Aggregations at Buck Island Reef National Monument, St. Croix, USVI. Funded by The Nature Conservancy for May – July 2008, Carr, L. and W. Heyman (Co-Principal Investigators), $46,400.
  • NSF IGERT: Applied Biodiversity Science: Bridging Ecology, Culture, and Governance for Effective Conservation (Fitzgerald and Stronza are PIs, Dr. Heyman serves as one of 15 faculty participants and actively contributed to proposal development) approved for 2007-2012.
  • Mapping and Characterization of Snapper Spawning Aggregations in the Cayman Islands. Cayman Islands Department of Environment, Government of Cayman Islands, 2007.
  • Impacts of Global Change and the Management of Coastal Ecosystems of Antigua and Barbuda, 2005-2012. Dr. Heyman serves as PI on the Coastal Management Component at Texas A&M.
  • Fisher Exchanges between Belize and Venezuela funded by United Nations Caribbean Environment Programme.

Selected Publications

  • Heyman, W.D. and S. Kobara. 2011. Reef geomorphology influences sites for reef fish spawning
    aggregations in the Caribbean. Ch. 26 In, P.T. Harris and E.K. Baker, eds. Seafloor
    Geomorphology as Benthic Habitat: Geohab Atlas of Seafloor Geomorphic Features and Benthic
    Elsevier, Amsterdam. In press.
  • Heyman, W.D. 2011. Elements for Building a Participartory, Ecosystem-Based Marine Reserve Network. The Professional Geographer, 63(4), 1-14. DOI:10.1080/00330124.2011.585078
  • Heyman, W.D. and P. Granados-Dieseldorff. 2011. The manjúa fishery of Guatemala’s Caribbean:
    balancing the needs for regional ecosystem productivity and national food security. FOCUS on
    54(2): 45-50.
  • Heyman, W.D. and A. Stronza. 2011. South-south exchanges enhance resource management and
    biodiversity conservation. Conservation and Society. 9(2): 146-158.
  • Heyman, W.D. and D. Wright. 2011. Marine geomorphology in the design of marine reserve networks.
    The Professional Geographer. 63(4): 1-14. DOI:10.1080/00330124.2011.585074
  • Romero, M.A., J.P. Boomhower, J.M. Posada y W.D. Heyman. 2011. Identificación de sitios de
    agregaciones de desove de peces a través del conocimiento ecológico local de los pescadores en el
    Parque Nacional Archipiélago Los Roques, Venezuela. Interciencia 36(2): 88-95.
  • Boomhower, J.P., M. A. Romero, J. M. Posada, S. Kobara, and W.D. Heyman. 2010. Prediction and
    verification of possible reef fish spawning aggregation sites in Los Roques Archipelago National
    Park, Venezuela. Journal of Fish Biology 77(4): 822-840.
  • Ezer, T., W.D. Heyman, C. Houser, and B. Kjerfve. 2010. Modeling and observations of high-frequency
    flow variability and internal waves at a Caribbean reef spawning aggregation site. Ocean
    60(5): 1307-1318.
  • Heyman, W.D., L. Carr, and P. Lobel. 2010. Diver disturbance to reef fish spawning aggregations: It is
    better to be disturbed than to be dead. Marine Ecology Progress Series 419: 201–210.
  • Kobara, S. and W.D. Heyman. 2010. Sea bottom geomorphology of multi-species spawning aggregation
    sites in Belize. Marine Ecology Progress Series 405: 243-254.
  • Carr, L. and W.D. Heyman. 2009. Jamaica bound? Marine resources and management at a crossroads in Antigua and Barbuda. The Geographical Journal. 175(1): 17 – 38.
  • Heyman, W.D. and B. Kjerfve. 2008. Multi-species reef fish spawning aggregations at Gladden Spit, Belize. Bulletin of Marine Science. 83(3): 531-551.
  • Heyman, W.D., B. Kjerfve, and T. Ezer. 2008. Mesoamerican Reef spawning aggregations help maintain fish populations: a review of connectivity research and priorities for science and management. NOAA Marine Sanctuaries Conservation Series. NMSP-08-07:150-169.
  • Kobara, S. and W.D. Heyman. 2008. Geomorphometric patterns of Nassau grouper (Epinephelus striatus) spawning aggregation sites in the Cayman Islands. Marine Geodesy 31(4):231-245.
  • Su, H., H. Liu, and W.D. Heyman. 2008. Automated derivation of bathymetric information from multi-spectral satellite imagery using a non-linear inversion model. Marine Geodesy. 31(4): 281-291.
  • Wright, D.J. and W.D. Heyman. 2008. Marine and coastal GIS for geomorphology, habitat mapping and marine reserves. Marine Geodesy. 31(4):1-8.
  • Sheng, J., Wang, L., Andréfouët, S., Hu, C., Hatcher, B.G., Muller-Karger, F.E., Kjerfve, B., Heyman, W.D. and Yang, B. 2007. Reproducing the upper ocean response of the Meso-American Barrier Reef System to Hurricane Mitch and coastal freshwater inputs: an approach using SeaWiFS remote sensing data and a nested-grid ocean circulation model. Journal of Geophysical Research. 112 (C07016): 1-22.
  • Heyman, W.D., J-L.B. Ecochard, and F.B. Biasi. 2007. Low-cost bathymetric mapping for tropical marine conservation – a focus on reef fish spawning aggregation sites. Marine Geodesy. 30(1): 37-50.
  • Ezer, T., D. V. Thattai, B. Kjerfve and W.D. Heyman. 2005. On the variability of the flow along the Meso-American Barrier Reef System: A numerical model study of the influence of the Caribbean Current and eddies. Ocean Dynamics. 55: 458-475.
  • Heyman, W.D., Kjerfve, B., Rhodes, K.L., Graham, R.T., and Garbutt, L. 2005. Cubera snapper, Lutjanus cyanopterus, spawning aggregations on the Belize Barrier Reef over a six year period.  Journal of Fish Biology, 67(1):83-101.
  • Gibson, J.,  McField, M., Heyman, W., Wells, S., Carter, J., Sedberry, G. 2004. Belize’s evolving system of marine reserves. In J. Sobel and C. Dahlgren (eds.),  Marine Reserves: A Guide to Science, Design and Use. The Ocean Conservancy, Washington. D.C. pp 287-315.
  • Ezer, T., Thattai, D.V., Kjerfve, B., and Heyman, W. 2005. On the variability of the flow along the Meso-American Barrier Reef System: A numerical model study of the influence of the Caribbean Current and eddies. Ocean Dynamics, 55: 458-475.
  • Heyman, W. and Graham, R., eds. 2000. The Voice of the Fishermen of Southern Belize.  Toledo Institute for Development and Environment.  Punta Gorda, Belize.
  • Heyman, W.D. and Kjerfve, B. 1999. Hydrological and oceanographic considerations for integrated coastal zone management in southern Belize.  Environmental Management, 24(2): 229-245.
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