Dean Jones is UPL Aquatics’ new Accounts Manager for the southeast U.S. Dean came to UPL with more than 23 years of experience managing invasive aquatic plants. Most recently, he worked cooperatively through the University of Florida and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on research focused on evaluating new chemistries, developing novel management strategies for hydrilla, and utilizing new technologies for surveys and pre/post-treatment evaluations. He also assisted Dr. Michael Netherland with monoecious hydrilla demonstration projects across New York and Pennsylvania.
5 Questions with Dean
It was a kind of love at first sight. I was introduced to the aquatic weed management industry as a recently graduated, young, naïve, environmental specialist in mosquito control. That’s when I first knew what I wanted to do with my biology degree. Besides, who doesn’t want to be paid to go airboating?
What is the most satisfying aspect of your job?
I truly believe we are making a difference in the world. As a native Floridian who grew up enjoying the outdoors, I have seen severe invasive plant infestations firsthand. I believe many of the stakeholder issues in Florida are the result of the industry doing too good of a job over the last 20 to 30 years. As a result, many stakeholders have never seen a severe infestation and the problems they can cause.
What’s the most common question customers ask you (and what's
They most often ask: “Are herbicides safe for use in lakes?” The short answer is “yes.” The correct, longer answer is: “EPA registration ensures when herbicides are used according to the label, they do not cause unreasonable adverse effects to humans or the environment.”
What weed species poses have you found are most challenging to manage -- and can you share some tips for success with them?
Hydrilla and large flower primrose willow are the two most challenging to manage species I’ve encountered. Like most invasive species, once established, their growth and reproductive capabilities make eradication virtually impossible. Regrowth following management is inevitable, especially in Florida with its year-round growing season. Repeated, routine management is a necessity in order to wear down plant biomass and to keep these species at lowest feasible levels.
How do you spend your free time?
I enjoy time with my family, as well as hunting, saltwater fishing and making the most of Florida’s many natural resources.