Erika Nowak with sea turtle

Other Appointments

Assistant Research Professor
School of Earth and Sustainability
Department of Biological Sciences
Northern Arizona University

Contact Information

Call: (928) 699-6722


Erika Nowak, Ph.D.

Core Member
Center for Adaptable Western Landscapes

Dr. Nowak is a core member of the Center for Adaptable Western Landscapes and an Assistant Research Professor in the School of Earth and Sustainability and the Department of Biological Sciences. She is the Curator of Herpetology in the NAU Vertebrate Teaching Collections and the representative of the former NAU Colorado Plateau Research Station. Her research interests and passions are in the ecology, behavior, conservation, and science-based management of venomous reptiles and federally threatened narrow-headed and Mexican gartersnakes. Erika and her research team, including undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, and graduate students, conduct surveys, ecological studies, and biomonitoring for rattlesnakes, gartersnakes and other species throughout the southwestern US. They developed the first university-based, student-run facility dedicated to improving narrow-headed gartersnake captive breeding and husbandry, under the NAU Gartersnake Research Program. Through classes and internships, students assist with captive husbandry of narrow-headed gartersnakes, field surveys, and biomonitoring for aquatic species, and develop independent projects that complement ongoing research.


  1. 2009

    Ph.D., Biology

    Northern Arizona University
  2. 1998

    M.S., Biology

    Northern Arizona University
  3. 1991

    B.S., Wildlife Biology

    Cornell University

Professional Experience

  1. 2017-present
    Assistant Research Professor, School of Earth and Sustainability
    Northern Arizona University
  2. 1998-2016
    Research Associate and Herpetologist
    Northern Arizona University/U.s Geological Survey