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|Out of universe information|
Doctor Kate Heightmeyer was a psychologist and one of the original members of the Atlantis expedition — which, she noted, provided quite a bit of work for her. Prior to joining the expedition, her work had included spending several years as a couples therapist.
Born on the 3rd of July 1978 in Charlotte, North Carolina, nothing is known of Heightmeyer's adolescence until she won a scholarship which enabled her to study at Princeton University, New Jersey. After years of study, Heightmeyer graduated from Princeton before deciding to concentrate on the scientific aspect of psychology, taking a postgraduate course in psychiatry at the Georgetown University Hospital in Washington D.C.. There she studied for four years during which time she spent many hours in the mental health unit of the university's hospital. While visiting, Heightmeyer provided counseling services to the patients as well as giving more rigorous treatments to some of the more severe cases. After gaining her doctorate, a PhD in psychiatry, through this work, however, Heightmeyer returned to New York City where she worked for some time in an esteemed practice. (SGA: "The DVD Collection 69") During this time, Heightmeyer spent several years as a couples therapist. (SGA: "The Gift")
USAF and Stargate CommandEdit
Heightmeyer later joined the United States Air Force in a civilian capacity, however, in order to work as a psychologist for the Air Force Special Operations Command headquarters at the Hurlburt Field AFB in Florida. After working there, Heightmeyer moved through two other USAF bases where she helped the personnel with their problems. Through this work, Heightmeyer was recognized by senior officials and asked to work at Stargate Command. After receiving full clearance, Heightmeyer was thrust into training where she was immediately challenged by the immense range of psychological problems presented to her by SGC personnel. She was quickly able to adapt to these new circumstances, however, and her work impressed Brigadier General Jack O'Neill so much that Heightmeyer was recommended to Dr. Elizabeth Weir as a member of the Atlantis expedition. Heightmeyer quickly accepted the position, seeing it to be the opportunity of a lifetime, and was part of the first group of Tau'ri to be sent to the Pegasus galaxy. (SGA: "The DVD Collection 69")
At the request of Major John Sheppard, Heightmeyer spoke with Teyla Emmagan after Teyla began having nightmares while the city prepared to face three Wraith Hive Ships. Teyla initially was wary about discussing her mental state, but after she was discovered to have Wraith DNA in her genetic makeup, the two worked together to probe Teyla's ability to sense the Wraith. Using hypnosis, Heightmeyer helped Teyla to telepathically connect with one of the Wraith on an approaching hive ship, an effort that led to Teyla being briefly possessed by the Wraith. During this period, Dr. Rodney McKay was also seeing Heightmeyer, though he claimed that the two were romantically involved when Teyla encountered him outside her office. (SGA: "The Gift")
When Dr. Rodney McKay found himself sharing his own body with the consciousness of Lt. Laura Cadman, Heightmeyer worked with them and helped McKay learn to cede control. Despite her efforts, the physiological effects of the struggle between the two personalities nearly killed them both. (SGA: "Duet")
Heightmeyer returned to Atlantis after the city was retaken from the Asurans, and promptly faced a new series of psychological episodes, hallucinations first seen by Teyla Emmagan. After Dr. Elizabeth Weir began seeing the visions as well, she raised concerns about the general level of overwork among the expedition members. Though the visions proved to be a result of a large indigenous Lantean fish called a Flagisallus, Heightmeyer still insisted that expedition members take a mandatory day off a few weeks later. (SGA: "Echoes", "Sunday")
On a reconnaissance mission to M3X-387, Lt. Colonel John Sheppard touched a crystal containing an alien entity that feeds on peoples' fears. Heightmeyer is eventually infected by the alien entity and uses Heightmeyer's fear of heights to induce a nightmare. In her nightmare, Teyla Emmagan sees Heightmeyer standing on the edge of a railing, proclaiming that she doesn't want to die, but still can't walk to safety. She pleads for Teyla's help. However, the alien entity (disguised as Sheppard) suddenly appears and prevents Teyla from doing so. Teyla can only watch as Heightmeyer topples off the railings and falls down to the water below, subsequently killing her. Dr. Jennifer Keller is summoned to Heightmeyer's quarters by Teyla, who tried to wake her up after she didn't report for duty, but couldn't. Keller finds Kate in her bed, and pronounces her dead. (SGA: "Doppelganger")
- GateWorld's article on