Earth systems scientist and ecosystem biologist, he earned a BA from Amherst College in 1974 and a PhD jointly from MIT and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in 1979. After receiving his PhD, Howarth was a staff research scientist in Woods Hole, MA, for several years. He joined the faculty of Cornell University in 1985 and was appointed the David R. Atkinson Professor of Ecology & Environmental Biology in 1993. Howarth has published over 250 scientific papers and edited or authored eight books. His peer-reviewed papers have been cited more than 70,000 times in other peer-reviewed literature, making him one of the 100 most cited environmental scientists in the world. In 2011 “Time magazine” named Howarth as one of “50 People Who Matter” in their annual “Person of the Year” issue. He currently serves as a member of the Climate Action Council established by law in NY State to guide the State rapidly to carbon neutrality.