Perry Brown retired from the University of Montana as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs in June, 2016. He now is Provost Emeritus after serving for six years as Provost and 16 years as Dean of the College of Forestry and Conservation. His PhD is from Utah State University and during a 45 year career he served on the faculties of Utah State University, Colorado State University, and Oregon State University before joining the University of Montana in 1994. He is a social scientist in natural resources and he was one of the early academics in the area of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources. He is known for expertise in outdoor recreation, wilderness, human dimensions of wildlife, land planning, and natural resource policy. He, along with B.L. Driver, George Stankey, and Roger Clark developed the Recreation Opportunity Spectrum (ROS) for natural resource planning.
During his career he served as President of the National Association of Forest Resource Programs and Leader of Division Six (Social Issues) of the International Union of Forest Research Organizations. He was the Chair of the Pinchot Institute Commission for the Federal Wilderness agencies that reviewed wilderness management during the first 40 years of the Wilderness Act. The 2001 Commission report is entitled, Ensuring the Stewardship of the National Wilderness Preservation System. He mentored over 60 graduate students to degree completion during his academic career. His wilderness research work with his graduate students focused mainly on social carrying capacity, motives for engaging in wilderness-based outdoor recreation, characterization of wilderness experiences, and wilderness planning and management.
Over his career Perry enjoyed the opportunity to work with many US Forest Service, National Park Service, and Bureau of Land Management offices and he was involved in research in many wildernesses including the High Uintas, Lee Metcalf, Rawah, Indian Peaks, Maroon-Bells Snowmass, Weminuche, Flat Tops, King Range, Powderhorn, Steens Mountain, North Cascades NP Complex, Boundary Waters Canoe Area, John Muir, Sequoia-Kings Canyon, Ansel Adams, Bridger, Popo Agie, and Fitzpatrick.