He Brings An Impressive Scientific Background…

The Department of Natural Resources today announced that Dr. Russ Mason of Reno, Nevada will assume the post of Chief of the DNR’s Wildlife Division beginning in September. Mason most recently served as Game Chief for the Nevada Department of Wildlife.

“We are fortunate that Russ Mason has agreed to come on board here in Michigan,” said DNR Director Rebecca Humphries. “He has more than 20 years of experience at the state and federal level, as well an impressive scientific background. Russ will bring extensive experience to the Wildlife Division, and he will bring new perspectives on issues that the state is facing now, such as alternative energy and climate change.”

Since 2005, Mason has served as the Game Chief for the Nevada Department of Wildlife. From 2004 to 2005, he served as the science advisor to the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies in Washington, D.C., and focused on issues such as invasive species, wildlife health, wind energy and climate change.

From 2001 to 2004, Mason served as Mammals Research Program Manager for the U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services in Fort Collins, Colorado, where he administered a national research program.

From 1995 to 2001, Mason served as a supervisory research biologist for the USDA Wildlife Services in Logan, Utah, where he was the administrator of the Utah State University Field Station of the National Wildlife Research Center, focusing on predator ecology and predation management.

From 1986 to 1995, he served as the supervisory research psychologist for the USDA Wildlife Services Chemical Ecology Field Station at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia and focused on the development of strategies and products for blackbird, waterfowl, and whitetail deer damage management.

From 1982 to 1986, Mason served as a staff scientist at Monell, performing chemical senses research with a special focus on investigations of taxonomic differences in the perception of chemical pain.

Russ has always had a special interest in preparing the next generation of wildlife professionals and has held faculty appointments in Fisheries and Wildlife, Biology, and Psychology Departments, and taught wildlife courses at the University of Pennsylvania, Utah State University, University of Wyoming, and University of Nevada.

Mason has a Bachelor’s degree in psychology from DePauw University, a Master’s degree in animal learning from Clark University, and a Ph.D. in chemical ecology, also from Clark University. His training also included stints in physical chemistry at Brown University, and a post-doctoral fellowship in chemical ecology at the Monell Chemical Senses Center at the University of Pennsylvania.

Mason has an extensive record of appointments to state and national advisory committees, task forces and boards on issues including wind turbines, climate change, mountain lions, aquatic nuisance species, wildlife damage, and many others.

He holds a number of U.S. and foreign patents on various animal repellents and attractants, and has authored numerous articles and book chapters on various wildlife management topics ranging from avian ecology to predation management.

Mason and his wife Candace have three children, Macy, 12; Benjamin, 4; and Saylor, 1; plus a good pointing dog, a cat and a fish. The family enjoys fishing, hunting, trapping, soccer, and various winter and water sports. The move to Michigan will put them in the same state as family in Grand Rapids and all are looking forward to the forests, green fields, lakes and rivers of Michigan, Mason said.