William Sheehan is one of the world's leading students of the planet Mars. In June 2001, he and a team of observers in the Florida Keys predicted and observed Martian flares at Edom Promontorium, observations which have contributed an important chapter in the search for Martian water in near-equatorial regions. A major area of his astronomical interest has always been the history of and interpretation of visual observations of planetary markings such as those of Schiaparelli and Lowell of the "canals" of Mars.
Sheehan's first book, "Planets & Perception", published in 1988, was a Book-of-the-Year Selection of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific. Other critically acclaimed books include: "Worlds in the Sky" (1992), "The Immortal Fire Within: the life and work of Edward Emerson Barnard" (1995), and "In Search of Planet Vulcan" (1997).
Sheehan is a contributing editor to "Sky & Telescope" and to "Mercury" magazines. He is also a 2001 Fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, awarded for his work-in-progress: "The Structure and Evolution of the Milky Way Galaxy." In 2001-2002, he was a Visiting Research Associate at the Lick Observatory and a Visiting Professor of Astronomy at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.
His current areas of research include traumatic brain injury using Single Photon Emission Computerized Tomography and Asperger's Syndrome. He has received international recognition for his work in brain-imaging. His recent research articles have appeared in the Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, New Zealand and Australian Journal of Psychiatry, the Notes and Records of the Royal Society of London. He won the career service award of the Minnesota Brain Injury Association in 2007. His psychiatric experiences have included serving as Head of Psychiatry in the Department of Neurosciences at the University of North Dakota and as a psychiatrist in Timaru, New Zealand. He has also consulted to Rice Memorial Hospital in Willmar, Minnesota, Swift County-Benson Hospital (Benson, Minnesota), and VA Medical Center in Minneapolis. He received his M.D. degree from the University of Minnesota Medical School and his psychiatric training in the program in psychiatry at the University of Minnesota.
He is a member of The International Society for Neuroimaging in Psychiatry and The International Society for Clinical Psychology. Currently employed as head of the neurodevelopmental disorders program at the Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health Hospital in Willmar, and as Medical Director of Geneva Medical Imaging.