Russ has been with Defenders of Wildlife since 2012, working out of their Missoula office on human-wildlife conflict mitigation through on-the-ground prevention projects and outreach. Coordinating many of Defenders’ field projects in the Northern Rockies, he works directly with communities, livestock producers, and state/federal/tribal agencies to reduce conflicts with bears, wolves, and bison. He specializes in the use of electric fencing to secure attractants on the landscape, particularly for bear deterrence. He also manages Defenders mesocarnivore monitoring project in the Bitterroot Valley, which is a volunteer based, community science project in partnership with U.S. Forest Service.
Prior to joining Defenders, Russ spent eight years working in bear management and research for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks on the Rocky Mountain Front and the Wind River Bear Institute. He has bachelor’s degrees in wildlife biology and psychology from the University of Montana.