Evelyn A. Howell

Professor
BA in Biology from Carleton College; MS and PhD in Botany from UW-Madison
25E Agricultural Hall
(608) 263-6964

Evelyn is a plant ecologist with a passion for midwestern grasslands, savannas, forests, meadows and marshes. Her primary teaching and research interests are the preservation, restoration, and management of native systems and the use of native species in landscape design.  She loves to study and enjoy these wonderful native ecosystems, and to take action to help ensure their survival for future generations.  Together with her students and colleagues, Evelyn has worked on projects for the National Park Service, the US fish and Wildlife Service, The Nature Conservancy, the International Crane Foundation, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the City of Madison Conservation Parks, the UW-Madison Arboretum and the UW-Madison Lakeshore Nature Preserve, as well as for several Wisconsin counties, cities, and school districts.

Evelyn loves working with students at all levels both in and out of the classroom. She teaches ecology in the Biocore Program (an undergraduate four-semester cross-college sequence of honors courses which provide a foundation for many of the campus biology majors), as well as graduate courses in restoration ecology, vegetation management, and landscape theory and first-year courses in site inventory and analysis and landscape architecture.

She really enjoys being part of interdisciplinary teaching teams in several of these courses, working with landscape architects, geographers, anthropologists and biologists who specialize in areas other than ecology. A member of the UW-Madison Teaching Academy, Evelyn belongs to the Bradley Residential Learning Community, and is past co-Director of the Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) residential learning community. She has received two major teaching awards from the college and the university.

Evelyn’s most recent publication is a textbook on restoration ecology (one of the first), which she co-authored with Landscape Architecture professor John Harrington and Steve Glass, former student and recent retiree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum where he served as restoration planner and fire manager.  She has also co-edited (with David Egan) a book on historical ecology, and published articles addressing natural landscaping, exotic species control, the effects of fire on prairie forbs and grasses, prairie restoration techniques, and vegetation assessment.

Evelyn served as Chair of the Landscape Architecture Department from July 1988 to June 1993, and more recently from July 2003 to June 2011. She was also the head of the UW-Madison Faculty Senate from January 1996 to June 1997. She is past Chair of the Wisconsin Natural Areas Preservation Council, a citizen’s group that advises the Endangered Resources Program of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.  She also serves on the Board of the Friends of the Lakeshore Preserve, a conservation area on the UW-Madison campus.

When Evelyn is not busy at her desk, in a classroom or studio, or out in the field, you can usually find her playing with parrots; reading biographies, mysteries, classic fantasies (Tolkien) or history; watching/listening to Milwaukee Brewers games; taking in a play, opera or musical; watching episodes of Doctor Who; baking cookies; and/or listening to her iPod.