Meetings are held at 4 p.m. on the third Wednesday of each month, September through May, at the Missoula County Extension and Weed District Office. Due to COVID-19, the meetings may be held virtually until further notice. Click here for more information on meeting agendas and minutes.
Dr. Dean Pearson is a research scientist with the Rocky Mountain Research Station, USDA Forest Service, where he leads a research team studying the causes, consequences, and management of invasive species. Dean received his BS in wildlife biology, his MS in zoology, and his PhD in organismal biology and ecology, all from the University of Montana. He also serves as adjunct faculty at the University of Montana. His research incorporates studies of invasive plants in their native and introduced ranges to understand how some invaders transmogrify into problem species in new regions, with research and collaborations in Argentina, Turkey, Germany, Poland, and China. Dean’s primary interest lies in studying community ecology (how species come together to form the ecological communities we see) in order to apply community-based understandings to conservation management. When he is not home gardening or landscaping, he spends up to six weeks each year in the backcountry of the West naturalizing, birding, pack rafting mountain lakes, exploring the desert, or hunting for big game or fossils. To be a good ecologist, you need to spend a lot of time in nature!