I am an ecologist and educator, with research experience centered on plant, soil, and fungus ecology and with experience in botanical education from primary school level though college.




Ph.D., Ecology and Evolution. Thesis: Soil Lichen Communities of the New Jersey Pinelands and their Effects on Belowground Patterns and Processes. Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ.

Master of Environmental Studies. Thesis:  Recovery of a Simplified Lichen Community near the Palmerton Zinc Smelter. University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.

B.S., Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, Yale University, New Haven, CT


Botanical Research Positions

Weed Ecologist, US Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection
Service, Biotechnology Regulatory Services

Rare Plant Surveyor, Office of Natural Lands Management, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection

Sustainable Science Fellow, Joint Appointment with U.S. Forest Service, Philadelphia Field Station and Center for Resilient Landscapes, Rutgers, the State University of NJ                

Biological Science Technician: Invasive Plants, San Francisco Bay Area Inventory and Monitoring Program at Point Reyes National Seashore, National Park Service



Undergraduate Courses Taught:

Natural Resources, SCI 218, Southern New Hampshire University. 3 credits, taught online Summer 2017

Ecology and Field Biology, BIO221, The College of New Jersey. 5 credits, developed course: Fall 2016.

Fungi in the Environment, 11:776:400, Rutgers University, 3 credits, co-taught Fall 2015.

Environmental Studies, BIO114, New Jersey Scholarship and Transformative Education in Prisons Program, 3 credits: Ft. Dix Federal Correctional Institution, co-taught Fall 2016. East Jersey State Prison, co-taught Fall 2015.

Woody Plants Concepts, BIO202, New Jersey Scholarship and Transformative Education in Prisons Program . 3 credits, co-developed course: Garden State Youth Correctional Facility, co-taught Fall 2014;  East Jersey State Penitentiary, co-taught spring 2015.

Plant Diversity and Evolution Lab, 11:216:412, Rutgers University, 1 credit, Fall 2013 and Fall 2015.

Plant Ecology Lab 11:704:332, Rutgers University,3 credits, Fall 2012 and Fall 2013.

General Biology Lab 01:119:101 and 01:119:102, Rutgers University, 3 credits, Fall 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Spring 2012, and Spring 2013.

Evolution of the Physical World Lab GEOL(289) 003.402, University of Pennsylvania, Spring 2006


K-12 Teaching

High School Chemistry Teacher, King’s Academy, Madaba, Jordan, 2007-2008

Developed and taught a high school chemistry course for a diverse group of students with varying levels of facility in English, during the opening year at the country’s first co-ed boarding school. 

Field Teacher / Naturalist, University of Rhode Island W. Alton Jones Outdoor Education Center, 2003

Created hands-on activities and lessons for middle school students in wetland ecology, forest ecology, winter ecology, leading evening activities including songs and night hikes

Americorps Water Watch Organizer, Salem State College and North Shore Community College, 2002

Coordinated stream cleanups and delivered water quality education for over 15 elementary and middle schools across MA with activities on water cycle, water pollution, and states of matter.

Resident Counselor, Eagle Hill School, Old Petersham, MA. 2001

Provided academic tutoring, organizational assistance and emotional support for high school girls in the dormitory at a boarding school for students with ADD and ADHD.


Informal Education Projects

2016 - High School Marine Biology Volunteer Teacher, Bucks Learning Cooperative. Once a week I led students in ungraded field trips, activities, or lab investigations related to Marine Biology

2011 – 2017 – Fungus team leader for several bioblitz projects:

  • Rutgers Newark & NJIT 5th Annual Bioblitz. Newark, NJ, September 28, 2016

  • University of Pennsylvania Bioblitz, Philadelphia PA, September 17, 2016

  • MacCaulay Honors College Bioblitz, at Brooklyn Bridge Park, September 18-19, 2016; Freshkills Park, August 29-30, 2015; and NY Botanical Garden, September 6-7, 2014.

  • Union County Bioblitz, Mountainside NJ, June 13th, 2016;  Elizabeth, NJ, June 18th, 2017

  • Sandy Hook Bioblitz, Highlands, NJ. September 17th 2011 and September 19th 2015

2016 – 2017: Participated in educational tabling events:

  • Provided temporary tattoos and invasive insect discussions at National Cherry Blossom Festival

  • Created fluorescent lichens display for Rutgers Geology Museum Marvelous Microbes Day

  • Outreach table for American Bryological and Lichenological Society at Philly Fall Nature Festival

  • Rutgers Ecology and Evolution Graduate Student Association table, Whitesbog Blueberry Festival 

2010-2016 – Hike leader for outings:

  • New Jersey Mycological Association Lichen Workshop, New Lisbon, NJ April 17, 2016

  • Andrews Foray for amateur lichenologists. Pemberton, NJ. September 19-20, 2016.

  • Earth Day Volunteer trail hike leader for elementary school students, Highland Park, NJ.

  • Hutcheson Memorial Forest Lichen and Moss Walk, Franklin, NJ

  • Wildflower Walk Docent, Edgewood Park and Natural Preserve, Redwood City, CA

2012 - Mastery Charter High School Science Club, Volunteer Teacher. Introduced 10 students to macroinvertebrate monitoring for water quality testing. Philadelphia, PA. Fall 2012


Coxson, D and N Howe, 2016. Lichens in Natural Ecosystems. In: The Fungal Community: Its organization and role in the ecosystem, Fourth Edition, CRC Press, London.

Allen, JL and NM Howe, 2016. Landfill Lichens: A checklist for Freshkills Park, Staten Island, NY Opuscula Philolechenum 15:82-91.

Pollock, NB, N Howe, I Irizarry, N Lorusso, A Kruger, K Himmler, and L Struwe, 2015. Personal BioBlitz: A New Way to Encourage Biodiversity and Knowledge in K-99 Education and Outreach.  BioScience 65(10):1083-1091.

Struwe, L, LS Poster, N Howe, P Sweeney, and CB Zambell, 2014. The Making of a Student-Driven Online Campus Flora: an example from Rutgers University. Plant Science Bulletin, 60(3): 159-169.

Howe, NM, and JC Lendemer, 2010. The recovery of a simplified lichen community at the Palmerton Zinc Smelter after 34 years. In: A Lichenological Legacy – Festschrift Thomas H. Nash III.  S.T. Bates, F. Bungartz, R. Lücking, M.A. Herrera-Campos & A. Zambrano (eds.). Bibliotheca Lichenologica 106: 120–136.

Fryday, AM, JC Lendemer & NM Howe, 2007. Porpidia soredizodes (lichenized ascomycota) in North America. Opuscula Philolichenum, 4:1-4.

Steers, R, E Wrubel, A Williams, N Howe, and J Jordan,  2011. Invasive plant species early detection in the San Francisco Bay Area Network: 2010 annual report. Natural Resource Technical Report NPS/SFAN/NRTR—2011/494. National Park Service, Fort Collins, CO.

Williams, A, J Rogers, N Howe, R Steers, and C Wrubel. 2011. Invasive plant species early detection in the San Francisco Bay Area Network: 2009 annual report. Natural Resource Technical Report NPS/SFAN/NRTR—2011/493. National Park Service, Fort Collins, CO.


Technical skills and languages

Spatial analysis: ArcGIS, QGIS

Statistical programs: R, SAS, SQL

Website development: HTML/CSS/JavaScript

MS Office: Excel, Word, Powerpoint

Languages: English, French, Spanish


download as PDF