Heidi Cullen

Chief Scientist, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
Theme 3 Co-Lead
Office Phone
Climate Central, One Palmer Square, Princeton NJ 08542


Climate change and the environment, energy issues, climate science communication and education


Heidi Cullen serves as the Director of Communications and Strategic Initiatives and Director of the Information and Technology Dissemination (ITD) Division at MBARI. Before joining MBARI, Cullen served as Chief Scientist for Climate Central—a non-profit science outreach 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 serves on the National Academy of Sciences Board on Atmospheric Science and Climate (BASC) and is on the Science Advisory Board of European Commission’s EUPHEME Project on extreme weather attribution. Cullen also serves as Chief Science Advisor for the Emmy award-winning Years of Living Dangerously documentary series and Climate Central and is Communications Advisor for the World Meteorological Organization Commission for Climatology. She served on the NOAA Science Advisory Board from 2008 to 2014. She is the author of The Weather of the Future published by Harper Collins in 2010. Cullen 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.

Dr. Cullen serves as the Theme Lead for the EDO portion of the SOCCOM project. The focus of her project is on informal education and outreach.