Jeffrey Howard

Jeffrey Howard

Professor Emeritus


313-577-0517 (fax)

0224 Old Main



Environmental Science and Geology

Jeffrey Howard

Research interest(s)/area of expertise

  • Mapping, classification and genesis of anthropogenic soils

  • Quaternary geology of southeastern Michigan

  • Geologic history of Southern California

  • Early history of the San Andreas fault


Active research projects


  • Ph.D., Geology, University of California Santa Barbara, 1987
  • M.S., Agronomy, Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University, Blacksburg, VA, 1979
  • B.S., Geology, Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University, Blacksburg, VA, 1972

Awards and grants

  • Excellence in Teaching Award, 1999-2000

  • Excellence in Teaching Award, 2010-2011

  • Faculty Recognition Award, 2018

Selected publications

  • Howard, J.L., 1995, Conglomerates of the upper middle Eocene to lower Miocene Sese Formation along the Santa Ynez fault: Implications for the geologic history of the eastern Santa Maria basin area, California: U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 1995-H, 37 pp
  • Howard, J.L., 1996, Paleocene to Holocene paleodeltas of the Colorado River offset by the San Andreas fault system, southern California: Geology, v. 24, p. 783-786
  • Howard, J.L., 2000, Provenance of quartzite clasts in fluvial Eocene-Oligocene conglomerates: Paleogeographic implications for southern California and the ancestral Colorado River: Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 112, p. 1635-1649
  • Howard, J.L., 2005, The quartzite problem revisited: Journal of Geology, v. 113, p. 707-713
  • Howard, J.L., 2006, Provenance of metavolcanic clasts in the Upper Paleogene Sespe Formation near Los Angeles, and its bearing on the origin of the Colorado River in southern California. In: Cooper, J., and Girty, G. (eds.), Using stratigraphy and sedimentology to understand the geologic history of the SW Cordillera: A volume to honor Patrick L. Abbott: Pacific section, SEPM (Society for Sedimentary Geology) Book 101, p. 179-192
  • Howard, J.L., 2010, Late Pleistocene glaciolacustrine sedimentation and paleogeography of southeastern Michigan, USA: Sedimentary Geology, v. 223, p.126-142
  • Howard, J. L., Coram, M. R., and Zawiskie, J. M., 2013, Stratigraphy, paleoenvironments and provenance of late Pleistocene glacial sediments in the southeastern Great Lakes region: Implications for ice sheet dynamics. In: Muller, J. and Koch, L. (eds.), Ice sheets: Dynamics, formation and environmental concerns. Nova Pub., New York, p. 1-54
  • Howard, J. L., Dubay, B. R., and Daniels, W. L., 2013, Artifact Weathering, Anthropogenic Microparticles and Lead Contamination in Urban Soils at Former Demolition Sites, Detroit, Michigan: Environ. Pollut. 179, 1-12
  • Howard, J. L., Dubay, B. R., McElmurry, S. P., Clemence, J., and Daniels, W. L., 2013, Comparison of sequential extraction and bioaccessibility analyses of lead using urban soils and reference materials: Water Air Soil Pollut. 224, 1678-1691
  • Howard, J. L., 2014, Proposal to add anthrostratigraphic and technostratigraphic units to the stratigraphic code for classification of anthropogenic Holocene deposits: The Holocene, v. 24, p. 1856-1861
  • Howard, J. L., Ryzewski, K., Dubay, B. R., and Killion, T. K., 2015, Artifact preservation and post-depositional site-formation processes in an urban setting: A geoarchaeological study of a 19th century neighborhood in Detroit, Michigan: Jour. Archaeol. Sci., v. 53, p. 178-189
  • Howard, J. L., and Shuster, W. B., 2015, Experimental Order 1 soil survey of vacant urban land, Detroit, Michigan. Catena, v. 126, p. 220-230
  • Howard, J. L., 2015, Glaciolacustrine history of the Huron-Erie lowland in the southeastern Great Lakes region (USA) revisited. Journal of Great Lakes Research, v. 41, p, 965-972
  • Howard, J. L., and Orlicki, K. M., 2016, Effects of anthropogenic microparticles on the chemical and geophysical properties of urban soils, Detroit, Michigan, Soil Science, v. 180, p. 154-166
  • Howard, J. L., and Orlicki, K. M., 2016, Composition, micromorphology and distribution of microartifacts in anthropogenic soils, Detroit, Michigan. Catena, v. 138, p. 103-116
  • Howard, J. L., Orlicki, K. M., and LeTarte, S. M., 2016, Evaluation of geophysical methods for mapping soils in urbanized terrain, Detroit, Michigan USA. Catena, v. 143, p. 145-158
  • Howard, J. L., 2017. Anthropogenic soils. Springer. Howard, J. L., 2017, Anthropogenic Soils: Springer, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 231 pp
  • Howard, J. L., and Daniels, W. L., 2018, Soils of urban and human-impacted landscapes. In: Richardson, D., Castree, N., Goodchild, M. M., Kobayashi, A., Liu, W., and Marston, R. A. (Eds.), People, the Earth, Environment, and Technology. Wiley-AAG International Encyclopedia of Geography, Wiley, New York
  • Ingersoll, R. V., Spafford, C. D., Jacobson, C. E., Grove, M., Howard, J. L., Hourigan, J., and Pedrick, J., 2018, Provenance, paleogeography and paleotectonic implications of the mid-Cenozoic Sespe Formation, coastal southern California, USA, in Ingersoll, R. V., Lawton, T.F., and Graham, S.A., eds., Tectonics, Sedimentary basins, and Provenance: A Celebration of William R. Dickinson’s career: Geological Society of America Special Paper 540, p. 1-22
  • Howard, J., Weyhrauch, J., Loriaux, G., Schultz, B., and Baskaran, M., 2019. Contributions of artifactual materials to the toxicity of anthropogenic soils and street dusts in a highly urbanized terrain: Environ. Pollut. v. 255, Article 113350
  • Howard, J.L., 2021. Urban anthropogenic soils -- A review: Advances in Agronomy, v. 165, p. 1-57

Other qualifications directly relevant to courses taught

  • Research Associate, Department of Agronomy, VPI&SU, 1978-1979
  • Program Specialist, Soil Scientist’s Office, County of Loudoun, Virginia, 1979-1981
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Geology, Wayne State University, 1987-1993
  • Associate Professor, Environmental Science and Geology, Wayne State University, 1993-present