Marion Howard

Professor Emerita

Marion  Howard's photo


Office: Heller-Brown Building 158
Phone: 781-736-3794
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Planning and implementation, small island sustainable development, coastal and marine conservation, protected areas, community participation


  • HS 240f - Participatory Methods for Adaptive Development Management
  • HS 277f - Introduction to Planning and Implementation
  • HS 300f - Integrated Conservation and Development
  • HS 337f - Advanced Planning and Implementation: Issues in the Field


  • Brandeis University
  • Duke University
  • University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Marion Howard

Professor Emerita


Marion Howard lived in the San Andres Archipelago, western Caribbean, for more than 25 years, where she worked with Colombia's national environment system. For 16 years she served as advisor to the government's environmental protection and sustainable development agency for the archipelago. She coordinated development of Colombia's first multiple-use marine protected area (Seaflower MPA), led the planning process to establish the UNESCO Seaflower Biosphere Reserve, and was on the team of Colombia's national climate change adaptation program (INAP). She was sustainable development advisor on projects to conserve biodiversity in the Southwestern Caribbean, improve marine conservation policy, and strengthen climate change adaptation in the coastal zone. Ms Howard has worked on community-based conservation and coastal/marine research projects with multilateral, bilateral, and UN agencies; international NGOs; governments; and universities. She maintains an active practice in the field.

Awards and Honors

  • Provost Research Award (2017)
  • Innovations in Teaching Award (2015)
  • Project team award: UNESCO Michel Batisse Award for excellence in biosphere reserve management (for project of adaptive watershed management) (2012)
  • Project team award: IUCN and Convention on Biological Diversity Countdown 2010 Award (for Seaflower Marine Protected Area project) (2010)
  • Project team award: IUCN 60 (for Seaflower Marine Protected Area project ) (2008)
  • Heller School teaching award (2007)
  • Project team award: Rainforest Alliance Eco-Index Award for outstanding achievement in monitoring and evaluation (for the San Andres Mooring Buoy project) (2007)
  • Board of Directors, Mangrove Action Project (MAP) (2003 - 2013)


  • Holcombe, S. and Howard, M., ed. Practicing Development: Upending Assumptions for Positive Change. Boulder, CO: Kumarian Press, Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2019.
  • Howard, M.. "What Does Lasting Development Look Like?." Practicing Development: Upending Assumptions for Positive Change. Ed. S. Holcombe and M. Howard. Boulder, CO: Kumarian Press, 2019. 27-45.
  • Taylor, E. and Howard, M.. "Seaflower Marine Protected Area, Colombia." Enabling Effective and Equitable Marine Protected Areas. vol. Regional Seas Reports and Studies No. 203. Ed. Jones P., R. Murray, and O. Vestergaard. UN Environment, 2019. Case Study 6.
  • Howard, F., Taylor, E., Mitchell, A., and Howard, M.. "Recuperación de Derechos Ancestrales del Pueblo Raizal a través de las Zonas Exclusivas para la Pesca Artesanal." Atlas Biológico Pesquero. Ed. Rojas, A., M. Prada, and M. Jay, eds.. Bogota: Gobernación del departamento de San Andrés, 2016. 128-145.
  • Howard, M. & Taylor, E.. "Applying the biosphere reserve model to build ecological and socioeconomic resilience in the San Andres Archipelago, Colombia." The Resilience Sourcebook: Case Studies of Social-Ecological Resilience in Island Systems. New York: Center for Biodiversity and Conservation, American Museum of Natural History, 2015
  • Howard, M. & Taylor, E.. Challenges to implementing regional Marine Spatial Planning: The Case of the Seaflower MPA. Proc. of Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute. Panama City: 2015.
  • Taylor, E., Baine, M., Killmer, A. & Howard, M.. "Seaflower marine protected area: Governance for sustainable development." Marine Policy 41. September 2013 (2013): 57-64.
  • Howard, M. & Nicholson, D.. "Población, Tenencia de la Tierra y Aspectos Socioeconómicos de la Isla de San Andrés." Atlas de la Reserva de la Biosfera Seaflower. Archipielago de San Andres, Providencia y Santa Catalina. Santa Marta: Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas y Costeros-INVEMAR, 2012. 159-165.
  • Howard, M. & Taylor, E.. "San Andres, Colombia." Extreme Heritage Management: The Practices and Policies of Densely Populated Islands. Ed. Baldacchino, G.. New York: Berghahn Press, 2012. Chapter 11: 218-245.
  • Taylor, E., Howard, M., Medina, R., & Bent, O.. "Gestión Ambiental en la Reserva de Biosfera Seaflower." Atlas de la Reserva de la Biosfera Seaflower Archipielago de San Andres, Providencia y Santa Catalina. Santa Marta: Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas y Costeros-INVEMAR, 2012. 13-33.
  • Taylor, E., Baine, M., Howard, M., & Killmer, A.. "Seaflower Marine Protected Area – Governance Analysis." Marine Protected Areas: Getting the balance right. vol. 2 Ed. Jones, P., Qiu, W., & DeSanto, E.. Nairobi: UNEP, 2011. 87-96.
  • Taylor, E., Bent, O., & Howard, M.. "Linking Watershed Management and Coral Reef Conservation in the Western Caribbean." Effective Catchment Management and Coral Reef Conservation: Best Practice Case Studies. Ed. Wilkinson, C. & Brodie, J.. Townsville: Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network, 2011. Case Study 11: 60-61.
  • Taylor, E., Howard, M., & Baine, M.. Colombia’s Nomination of the Seaflower Marine Protected Area for Inscription on the World Heritage List. Paris, UNESCO: 2011.
  • Baine, M. & Howard, M.. A Global Comparative Analysis of the Seaflower Marine Protected Area, Colombia, for Nomination to the World Heritage List. Paris, World Heritage Committee/IUCN: 2010.
  • Howard, M. & Newball, R.. "Mapping Community-Based Protected Areas: A model for sustainable development, cultural, and environmental protection." United Nations Ninth Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. New York. April 2010.
  • Howard, M. & Taylor, E.. "Ecosystem-based Adaptation in the Seaflower Marine Protected Area, San Andres Archipelago, Colombia: A Community-Based Approach." Building Resilience to Climate Change: Ecosystem-based adaptation and lessons from the field. Ed. Andrade, A., B. Herrera, & R. Cazzolla.. Gland: IUCN, 2010. 98-115.
  • Howard, M.. Indigenous People’s Plan for the Raizal People of the San Andres Archipelago, Colombia: Inclusion in the Integrated National Adaptation Program. World Bank/GEF: 2010.
  • Howard, M.. Seaflower Marine Protected Area: Annotated Format for Inclusion in the SPAW List. Protocol Concerning Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife (SPAW) in the Wider Caribbean Region. Guadeloupe, UNEP/CAR: 2010.
  • Howard, M., Moreno, M., Garcia, M., & Salaman, P.. "Colombia: The Archipelago of San Andres, Old Providence, and Santa Catalina." An Inventory of Breeding Seabirds of the Caribbean. Ed. Bradley, P. & Norton, R.. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2009. Chapter 26: 225-231.
  • Howard, M., Taylor, E., Baine, M., & Nicholson, D.. "Integrating poverty alleviation with marine conservation in the Seaflower Marine Protected Area, San Andres Archipelago, Colombia." International Marine Conservation Congress, George Mason University. 2009.
  • Baine, M., Howard, M., Kerr, S., Edgar, G., & Toral, V.. "Coastal and marine resource management in the Galapagos Islands and the Archipelago of San Andres: Issues, problems and opportunities." Ocean and Coastal Management 50. 3-4 (2007): 148-173.
  • Baine, M., Howard, M., Taylor, E., James, J., Velasco, A., Grandas, Y. & Hartnoll, R.. "The development of management options for the black land crab (Gecarcinus ruricola) catchery in the San Andres Archipelago, Colombia." Ocean and Coastal Management 50. 7 (2007): 564-589.
  • Mow, J., Taylor, E., Howard, M., Baine, M., Connolly, E., & Chiquillo, M.. "Collaborative planning and management of the San Andres Archipelago's coastal and marine resources." Ocean and Coastal Management 50. 3-4 (2007): 209-222.
  • Howard, M., et al.. The community-based zoning process to establish the Seaflower Marine Protected Area, San Andres Archipelago, Colombia. Proc. of Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute. Belize City: 2006.
  • Howard, M., Taylor, E., Connolly, E., & van't Hof, T.. Applying socio-economic information to MPA planning: Seaflower Marine Protected Area, San Andres Archipelago, Colombia. Proc. of IMPAC 1. Geelong: 2005.
  • Howard, M., Pizarro, V., & Mow, J.. "Ethnic and Biological Diversity within the Seaflower Biosphere Reserve." The International Journal of Island Affairs 13. Special Issue (2004): 109-114.
  • Howard, M., Connolly, E., Taylor, E., & Mow, J.. "Community-based Development of Multiple-Use Marine Protected Areas: Promoting Stewardship and Sharing Responsibility for Conservation in the San Andres Archipelago, Colombia." Gulf and Caribbean Research 14. 2 (2003): 155-162.
  • Mow, J., Howard, M., Delgado, C., & Tabet, S.. "Promoting Sustainable Development: A Case Study of the Seaflower Biosphere Reserve." Prospects, Quarterly Review of Environmental Education 33. 3 (2003): 303-312.
  • Howard, M., Taylor, E. , Connolly, E., Howard, F., McCormick, C., & Newball, R.. "Preliminary Plan for marine protected areas in the Seaflower Biosphere Reserve: a community-based approach." Global Environment Facility, Ciego de Avila, Cuba. 2002.
  • Howard, M.. "Sustainable Tourism Planning for Old Providence and Santa Catalina Islands: The Importance of Carrying Capacity Analysis." Tourism 49. 4 (2001): 285-298.