Heather M. Hatfield will be graduating with a doctorate in biological sciences from South Dakota State University on May 5. Her dissertation focused on “The Sustainability of Tribal Buffalo Herds in the Great Plains Region.”
Her background is tribal natural resources and her goal was always to work in the field of natural resources or environmental sciences. Her goal currently is to get through her move back to the Black Hills from Bay Mills, Michigan, where she taught this year at Bay Mills Community College as a biology instructor.
Hatfield is an enrolled Bay Mills Indian Community tribal member but has lived approximately 20 years on and near the Pine Ridge Oglala Sioux Reservation where she went to Little Wound School and attended Oglala Lakota College. She has also taught at Oglala Lakota College in the Rapid City extension.
Her parents are Dr. Jeanne Bedell-Bailey from Martin, South Dakota and Robert S. Hatfield from Sinks Grove, West Virginia, who is retired from the Army. She has three children who she credits with her inspiration to keep reaching for her goals and dreams, a sister who resides in Rapid City and a brother currently deployed in Afghanistan.