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Heritage Society Luncheon at the Duke Marine Lab

Celebrating our Duke connections…at the beach

July 10, 2015 | by Alyssa Alegre

Heritage Society Luncheon at the Duke Marine Lab

Duke University Office of Gift Planning held its very first Heritage Society luncheon at the Duke University Marine Lab in Beaufort, NC on Tuesday, July 7.  We had a wonderful turnout with more than 40 attendees, and it was a pleasure to spend a beautiful afternoon with our local friends and Duke supporters.

David Johnston, assistant professor of the practice of marine conservation ecology, and Heather Heenehan, doctoral student in marine science and conservation, joined us to share some of the new research and advancements in marine sciences at Duke.

Heather discussed her exciting work with spinner dolphins and her involvement with oceanic soundscapes.  We had no idea snapping shrimp could be so noisy! She also shared the mobile device app she uses to measure sounds in the ocean and its impact on marine life.

David’s presentation was equally informative and it was great to learn about how Duke is making “waves” in marine sciences through innovative and efficient uses of new technologies.  He shared how Duke is utilizing drone technology to support offshore research and testing.

If you would like to learn more about David and Heather’s work, please visit the Duke University marine lab website and check out their blog, Johnston Lab.

Duke would not be the internationally renowned institution of education, research, and service that it is today without the generosity of alumni and friends like you.  Planned gifts have supported numerous areas at Duke, including the Marine Lab.

We are thankful we could spend time with our Beaufort friends and we hope to catch up with each of you soon!

P.S. - Watch the video below for look inside of the Alvin Deep Submergence Vehicle. Join Duke Marine Laboratory Director, Cindy Van Dover as Pilot Jefferson Grau demonstrates some of the many components and systems required for a successful dive.

About the author


Alyssa Alegre Assistant Director of Gift Planning

Alyssa oversees marketing and communications, events, and special initiatives for the Office of Gift Planning. She works closely with donors who are featured in Duke Magazine, the Blueprints blog and other publications. She also works closely with development teams, schools, and alumni volunteers as part of our comprehensive reunion efforts. Alyssa has previous work experience with a private law firm, several non-profit organizations, and a regional bank. She received her undergraduate degree and Masters of Business Administration from Niagara University. Alyssa joined the Gift Planning team in 2007, after relocating from Buffalo, New York. When she is not in the office, she enjoys being outdoors, running, and chasing after her twin daughters.

Alyssa Alegre can be contacted via email or by phone at (919) 681-8030.

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