Professor Howland specializes in employment, urban and regional economic planning, economic development, suburban office development, telecommunications and urban form and planning in Post Soviet Russia.
Dr. Howland is the author of Worker Displacement, The Regional Issues, published by the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Policy and Combines to Computers: Rural Development in the Information Age, published with Amy Glasmeier, State University of New York Press. She was co-principal Investigator for a five-year grant under the U.S. Department of Education's Urban Community Service Program. This project provides financial support enabling several URSP faculty and graduate students to provide technical assistance and planning and research services to Southeast Baltimore and the Palmer Park community of Prince George's County (1995 to 2000). She currently has a five year grant (2001 to 2016) from the U.S. Economic Development Administration to establish a University Center at the Univefsity of Maryland.
Dr. Howland has received grants from the National Rural Studies Committee, the Ford Foundation through the Aspen Institute, the International Research Exchange Board, and the Economic Development Administration. She has served on the executive board of the Association of the Collegiate Schools of Planning, editorial advisor on the Journal of the American Planning Association, associate editor for the Economic Development Quarterly, and editorial advisor for News and Views, publication of the American Planning Association's Economic Development Division. Under a grant from the U.S. Department of State, she created an urban planning curriculum at the School of Architecture in St. Petersburg, Russia and she received a grant from the Lincoln Land Institute to study brownfields and the redevelopment of industrial areas in central city Baltimore. She along with Jim Cohen conducted a 2006 to 2009 assessment of industrial land for Prince George's County.