Howell, Judd A. (Non-resident)
Judd was born on July 10, 1948, as the second son of Lois Loretta Davidson and Morton Smith Howell at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan, New York. As a young boy, Judd roamed the hills in dairy country of western New Jersey above the little village of Broadway, where his father and grandfather ran the corner grocery and post office. After his father’s untimely death, the Howells, Lois, Andy, and Judd, moved to the suburbs of New York City where Lois completed her BA and MA degrees to teach high school English and psychology. During these years Judd had a strong interest in animals and spent untold Saturdays at the American Museum of Natural History pretending to be in the dioramas of the Great Hall of Mammals. During the summer of 1959, Judd and Andy accompanied their great aunt and uncle on a float trip of the San Juan River in southern Utah from Mexican Hat to the Glen Canyon. The trip lasted six days but transfixed a boy with images of the Monument Valley, the untamed Colorado River, and the first footings of Glen Canyon Dam. That summer included visits to the National Parks of the Rocky Mountain west, from Mesa Verde to Yellowstone. It also included a new love interest for Mom. He was a cowboy named Bill Corsant, born in the Big Horn Valley, Montana. By the next year the family moved to Montana where Bill revitalized the old family ranch at the confluence of the Big Horn and Little Big Horn Rivers. With the backdrop of the Little Big Horn National Battle Field, Judd’s high school years were spent among the farm families of the valley and the Crow and Cheyenne people. Not a serious academic after high school, Judd dabbled in college and was twice asked to leave because of moribund interest. As the Vietnam War raged, and with Judd’s forced break from academics, he joined the U.S. Coast Guard in 1969 and served aboard the icebreaker, Northwind, which sailed from Seattle, Washington, to Kodiak, Alaska. During that summer the Northwind conducted oceanographic research in the Bearing Sea, then sailed the Northwest Passage from Point Barrow, Alaska, to Thule, Greenland. After Greenland, Judd was assigned to Electronics School at Governor’s Island, New York, where he completed basic and long-range aid to navigation electronics training. Judd was honorably discharged from the Coast Guard in 1971 after surgery for a knee injury sustained in Greenland. Never one to give up the good fight, Judd returned to Montana State University, worked his way off probation and received a bachelor of science degree in zoology in 1974. After a summer studying elk in the Spanish Peaks Wilderness Area in Montana, Judd moved to Tempe, Arizona, and completed a master of science degree in zoology from Arizona State University in 1976. His work there was on systems analysis and modeling of cactus mouse population dynamics in mesquite communities of the lower Colorado River. From here, Judd began his career with the U.S. Department of the Interior in 1976, as a seasonal employee at the Bitterlake National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico. He followed that with a summer assignment with the Bureau of Land Management in Lewistown, Montana, in 1977. His permanent career began in 1978 with the Bureau of Reclamation where he conducted surveys for bald eagles, peregrine falcons, and black-footed ferrets along 600 miles of the North Platte River in Wyoming. He transferred to the National Park Service in 1980 as Golden Gate National Recreation Area’s first natural resources specialist. During his 20-year tenure at Golden Gate, he documented the first nesting of Heermann’s gulls in the United States on Alcatraz Island and was founder of the banding program in 1983, which was the foundation for the Golden Gate Raptor Observatory. While in California, Judd completed his PhD degree in wildland resource science with an emphasis in wildlife ecology from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1993. Judd conducted inventories and monitoring of terrestrial mammals for the National Park Service from 1990 to 1997. In 1992, he began a comparative biodiversity study between coastal California and coastal France, with colleagues from the University of Brittany, Brest, where they worked on the Island of Ouessant. From 1994 to 2000, Judd studied the population dynamics and habitat use of tule elk at Point Reyes National Seashore. In 1993, Judd was transferred to the National Biological Service as station leader and research biologist for the Golden Gate Field Station. He became a U.S. Geological Survey research biologist in 1996, when the National Biological Service became part of the U.S. Geological Survey, and a Research Manager in 1999 at the U.S. Geological Survey-Western Ecological Research Center in Sacramento, California. In 2002, by some miracle of fate, Judd was selected to be the seventh Center Director of the U.S. Geological Survey, Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, where he believes he has died and gone to heaven. Judd is the author or co-author of numerous professional papers and reports focusing on animal behavior and habitat. He has been a field associate for the California Academy of Sciences; was an affiliate associate professor in the Wildlife and Fisheries Department of the University of Idaho; and is currently an adjunct professor in the Wildlife Department of Humboldt State University. Judd lives in Annapolis, Maryland, with his wife, Nancy. They are the parents of three wonderful daughters, who live in California. When he is not “working,” he is a member of the Coast Guard Auxiliary, the Fleet Reserve Club, and a Fellow of the Explorers’ Club. Judd was elected a member of the Washington Biologists’ Field Club in 2004.