Robert M. Nowierski, PhD

Title: National Program Leader
Company: National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Location: Lorton, Virginia, United States

Robert Nowierski, National Program Leader for the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Educators for dedication, achievements, and leadership in the fields of entomology and biological control.

Dr. Nowierski studied at the University of Idaho, where he earned a Bachelor of Science, cum laude, in pre-dentistry in 1973. He started working as a research assistant and went on to earn a Master of Science in entomology and systematics in 1975. He then transitioned to the University of California Berkeley, where he worked as a research assistant while completing his doctoral coursework. He earned a PhD in entomology, biological control, insect ecology, and integrated pest management in 1979, and served as an IPM systems analyst at the university until 1982.

After leaving the University of California Berkeley, Dr. Nowierski started as an assistant professor at Montana State University in 1982. He rose to the rank of associate professor, then full professor, remaining at the university for 20 years, until his departure in 2002. He accepted a position as the national program leader of bio-based pest management with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, where he continues to work to this day.

Dr. Nowierski continued his education as a student in the National Research Initiative Competitive Grants Program Workshop in 1993, and as a student with the Brookings Institution in 2012. He worked as a research design consultant for Graves and Klein, and has served as co-chair of the Integrated Pest Management Training Consortium and the Control and Management Subcommittee for the National Invasive Species Management Plan. He additionally worked as a design consultant for the USDA-ARS Insect Quarantine Laboratory, and was an invited participant in the Invitational Workshop on USDA Activities in Biological Control.

As a child, Dr. Nowierski became interested in entomology because there was a vacant lot across the street from his house, where black widow spiders were commonly found in gopher holes. He would catch them, put them in jars, and feed them insects—he was never bitten, but it stoked his curiosity in the insect world, and as a young adult, he pursued a career in the field. He was a keynote speaker for the Leafy Spurge Symposium in 1984, and received the H. C. Manis Award for Excellence in Entomological Research from the University of Idaho in 1975. As a testament to his success and stature, Dr. Nowierski has been featured in the 8th, 9th, and tenth editions of Who’s Who in Science and Engineering.

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