Beau Larkin, M.Ed. MPG North Manager and Forest Ecologist, received a B.S. in forestry in 2005 and completed his M.Ed. in secondary biology and broad-field science in 2010 at the University of Montana, Missoula. Initially his sights were set on a teaching career, concentrating on experiential and outdoor education. After joining MPG Ranch in 2008, forest ecology and restoration supplanted his original focus.
Beau manages day-to-day operations at MPG North, an MPG property located in the Swan Valley near Condon, MT. He also conducts original research on plant-fungal symbioses, forest restoration techniques, and fungal applications in soil restoration. His primary goals are to provide data-driven management of restoration projects and increase interest in private lands conservation. To that end, Beau works with collaborators and community partners to extend the reach of MPG's research.
Dr. Phillip W Ramsey, Ph.D.
Philip W. Ramsey, Ph. D. General Manager and Ecologist, moved to Missoula the day after graduating from high school and never left. He is committed to protecting, preserving, and restoring western ecosystems. Philip studied ecology at the University of Montana as an undergraduate. He received a fellowship from the Inland Northwest Research Alliance’s Subsurface Science Program to attend graduate school. In that program, he received training from professors all over the northwest in soil science and restoration. Philip earned a Ph.D. in Microbiology in 2006 for a dissertation on the relationship between mine waste contamination and ecosystem functioning in the Clark Fork River Valley upstream of Missoula. As a graduate student, Philip also published on the influence of management practices on forest soils, factors allowing for the spread of invasive weeds in grasslands, and nutrient flow between rivers and floodplain forests.
After graduate school Philip became an assistant professor in the Division of Biological Sciences at the University of Montana where he continued research on ecosystem processes. He also started a consulting company that sought to apply the best ecosystem research to restoration practice and to monitor restoration projects for the purpose of advancing our knowledge of ecosystem function. Philip’s work was supported by the philanthropy of the owner of a conservation property in the Swan Valley, who in 2009 purchased the Ranch and expanded their conservation goals. This brought about a unique opportunity for Philip; he left teaching to manage these conservation properties full time and now oversees the operations and management of more than 8,500 acres of conservation property in Western Montana.
Academia aside, Philip believes that the patient observation of nature is the most valuable tool a scientist and restoration practitioner can develop. So, in his hours off you will find him with his family fishing, hunting, hiking, or maybe in the river flipping rocks to see what’s underneath.
Lorinda Bullington comes from three generations of small-scale Montana loggers, or as her grandfather put it, "the first environmentalists.” Not wanting to leave this beautiful state, Lorinda attended the University of Montana, earning a B.S. in Microbiology in 2010. Family traditions inspired a love of forests and nature, and during her junior year of college, Lorinda began working at MPG North, studying microbial communities associated with Western white pine trees and how those microbes can influence tree health and deer browse in forest ecosystems.
After college, Lorinda continued this line of research, working full time at MPG Ranch. She experimentally inoculated plants with microbes, in the field, and in the greenhouse, to enhance ongoing restoration projects and learn more about plant-microbe interactions. This lead to follow up studies exploring microbial communities associated with five-needle pines in relation to tree physiology, genetics, and disease resistance. Through this research, Lorinda recently earned an M.I.S. degree at the University of Montana, focusing on plant molecular ecology. At MPG Ranch she is involved in both original research and bioinformatics, combining biology and computer science to better interpret molecular data. When not working, Lorinda enjoys going to the gym, gardening and getting outside.
Nicholas Franczyk, M.F.A.
Nicholas Franczyk, M.F.A.Technology Director, achieved a B.S. in geology from the University of Montana, Missoula, later earning an M.F.A. in media arts. Nicholas remained in Montana, far from his native Wisconsin, to work as a video editor, making action sports films and hunting & fishing TV shows. His editing work has earned many film festival awards around the globe, including best picture at the Jules Verne Adventure Film Festival.
Currently, Nick is applying his talents at MPG Ranch to oversee remote camera management, video production and tech support. In his free time Nicholas enjoys time with his family, mountain biking, skiing, hang gliding, and hunting.
Dr. Dan Mummey, Ph.D.
Dan Mummey, Ph. D. Restoration Ecologist, earned his B.A. in microbiology at Eastern Washington University, his M.S. in soil science at Washington State University, and his Ph.D. in soil science and restoration ecology at the University of Wyoming. After graduating in 2004, he worked as an assistant research professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Montana, Missoula. Dan's research focuses on how soil structure, soil organisms and plants determine plant community composition and ecosystem function.
In Dan’s current role at MPG Ranch he develops and implements methods to establish healthy native plant communities in disturbed areas.
Jeff Clarke, Field Project Coordinator, graduated from the University of Minnesota, Duluth, with a B.S. in outdoor recreation education. After college, Jeff managed U.S. Forest Service campgrounds in Northern Minnesota and ran interpretive programs for the parks. After several months in the woods, he decided to explore Western Montana and soon after was introduced to MPG. Jeff took a role with the MPG North field crew for two years where he gathered data for tree studies, completed forestry projects, worked to eradicate invasives, identified and photo documented species, and assisted MPG’s team of scientists.
Jeff now lives on the MPG Ranch and manages the field crew. He leads projects focused on weed eradication, forest thinning, tree protection, prevention of soil degradation, plant propagation, field reporting, ranch maintenance, along with many other tasks. Jeff regularly monitors the effects of his restoration efforts and looks forward to seeing the long term results.
Alan Ramsey, Artist, graduated with a B.S. from Randolph Macon College. He tripple majored in biology, history, and studio art with a minor in art history. After graduating, he spent two years studying portraiture with the Egeli family in Annapolis Maryland before attending Jacob Collins Atelier in New York City. He moved back to Montana ten years ago, working as a painter of portraits.
His current position at MPG is as a wildlife photographer and videographer.
Rebecca Durham, Botanist, graduated with a BA in Biology from Colby College in 1997, and earned a MS in Botany from Oregon State University in 2005. Her thesis work investigated post-fire vegetation succession in the Bob Marshall Wilderness of Montana. She has gained experience in botany and biology throughout the west working for the Forest Service, universities, consulting firms, and non-profits performing restoration and vegetation surveys for research and conservation. She has also worked in molecular biology labs as well as taught college biology lab and environmental education to children.
Rebecca works as a botanist for MPG Ranch. She performs vegetation surveys throughout the ranch and assists with habitat management planning and maintaining the plant database. In addition to admiring plants, she enjoys gardening, poetry, motherhood, and recreating under the big sky.