Remembering Dan Meade
Remembering Dan Meade
The western monarch community, including myself and others at Xerces, are mourning the unexpected death of Dan Meade on November 26th at the age of 68. Dan was a longtime monarch overwintering expert, consultant, and a very kind & humble person. Dan worked for decades on western monarch conservation, including the protection and management of overwintering sites. Dan was a founder, along with his wife LynneDee Althouse, of Althouse and Meade, Inc. in Paso Robles, CA. Some of his many contributions include a comprehensive survey of over 100 overwintering sites in Santa Barbara County in 1998 and again in 2016-17, writing overwintering management plans for key sites in Central and Southern California, mapping milkweed, counting butterflies as part of the Western Monarch Count, attending the recent Monarch Butterfly Conservation Summit in Washington, D.C., and beginning to develop a model of overwintering site structure. He was generous with his knowledge and time.
To honor Dan, his friends, family, and colleagues are committed to continuing the work he started. If you knew Dan, there is a memorial page with information about his service as well as opportunities to share a memory or make a donation in his honor to a science and technology scholarship: https://everloved.com/life-of/daniel-meade/.
Charis van der Heide (monarch overwintering expert, Western Monarch Count regional coordinator, employee at Althouse & Meade, Inc., and Dan’s friend) wrote the following beautiful analogy of Dan’s impact:
“Daniel E. Meade loved monarch butterflies and he lived his life dedicated to supporting them like a giant tree in a monarch overwintering grove. He made great contributions to monarch butterfly research and conservation with quiet brilliance and his passing was felt like a tremendous and shocking crash of a falling great tree. I knew the monarchs were well protected and their needs were heard whenever Dan was involved in a project. He was humble, respectful, and profoundly knowledgeable. I cherish the time I spent looking for monarchs with him and learning from him and his decades of experience. The opening he leaves behind lets a cold wind into the grove. I am humbled to grow with the sapling trees around me to fill the wind gap in the memory of him and carry on his legacy of protecting the monarchs as a great, wise tree.”