15 November 2011, Providenciales, TCI – The Turks & Caicos Reef Fund (TCRF) announced today that David Bowen and Heidi Hertler, Ph.D. have joined the organization’s Board of Advisors.
David Bowen is a widely recognized Turks & Caicos Islander who was born and raised in Grand Turk. Bowen began his career in 1977 as a Professional Dancer and Choreographer in Freeport, Bahamas and later New York. He has served as a teacher, actor, musician, yoga and wellness Instructor in countries such as the United States, Great Britain, Jamaica, Japan, Sweden and India. His big break came in 1983 as a dancer in the Michael Jackson's video 'Beat it'. David spent 10 years (1986-1996) in Tokyo, Japan as dance instructor and performer with the Geki-Dan Shiki Theatrical Company. He returned to the Turks & Caicos Islands in 1997 to become the first Turks and Caicos Islander to hold the post of Entertainment Manager at Beaches Resort and at Sandals Jamaica.
As a musician, David is locally known as the Bass player with the popular bands 'Bowen Arrow' and 'Soul Redemption', and the harmonica player with the local Rake-n-Scrape Ripsaw Bands. Since 2003 David has been the Turks & Caicos Director of Culture with the Cultural & Arts Commission under the Ministry of Education. He is also a member of the Consultative Forum. Additionally, he works as a Yoga and Zumba Instructor at various hotels and health clubs. “Joining the TCRF Board is an honor for me as their efforts are directed toward helping to maintain the beautiful environment we have here in these islands that I have enjoyed all my life,” said Mr. Bowen about joining the Board.
Heidi Hertler, Ph.D. holds the position of Center Director at the School for Field Studies (SFS), Center for Marine Resource Studies (CMRS). As an SFS alumnus, Dr. Hertler was attracted to the Turks and Caicos Islands program and the ongoing center research. Her personal research focuses on relationships between land use and the coastal marine systems. This includes the integration of science and research into environmental strategies and policies for the conservation of biodiversity and coastal resources. With the advent of mainstream tourism to South Caicos, she seeks to study the effect on near shore marine resources and how we can work with local user groups and government agencies to develop policies that protect and conserve natural resources for future generations. Through this research she is hoping to develop environmental awareness to empower the local community.
Prior to her position at CMRS, she was appointed as Distinguished Research Professor at Inter American University of Puerto Rico. Dr. Hertler also led the start up a Native Alaska environmental consulting firm that created NEPA document presentation and fostered relationships between clients and government agencies. “I am delighted to join TCRF Board because they share my passion for educating the public about coral reef preservation,” said Dr. Hertler. She has over 20 peer reviewed presentations and publications. Dr. Hertler has a BS in Biology from Bates College, M.S. in Biological Oceanography from Florida State University and a Ph.D. in Environmental Science from Drexel University
“We are very excited about David and Heidi joining our Board of Advisors” said Don Stark, Chairman of the TCRF. “Heidi brings scientific expertise that meshes with our mission and David brings a strong local and cultural perspective to our efforts.”
About TCRF Founded in 2010, the Turks & Caicos Reef Fund is an all volunteer-run organization that provides funding for education, research and conservation programs to individuals, organizations and agencies that help to preserve and protect the marine environment of the Turks & Caicos Islands. Our goal is to have at least 85% of all funds raised through voluntary contributions from divers and snorkelers visiting the Turks & Caicos Islands are directed to the Fund’s programs. More information about TCRF can be found at www.tcreef.org.