Michael Wierda

Agriculture and Natural Resources

Extension Assistant Professor | Pesticide Safety Education | Davis County

Michael Wierda

Contact Information

Office Location: Davis County
Phone: (435) 919-1270
Email: michael.wierda@usu.edu

Educational Background

PhD, Ecotoxicology / Wildlifetoxicology, Clemson University, 2009
MS, Biology, Northern Michigan University, 2008
Foraging Ecology of Pileated Woodpeckers in a Northern Transitional Forest
BS, Zoology, (Ornithology / Chemistry), Northern Michigan University, 2001


Dr. Michael Wierda is an Assistant Professor in Extension with Utah State University and the Pesticide Safety Education (PSE) Program Director. Mike works closely with groups and agents across Utah to enhance trainings and integrate PSE into IPM trainings and IPM into PSE trainings. In his current position since July 30th, 2018, Dr. Wierda has been focused on development of online training modules and manuals. Dr. Wierda’s #1 goal in PSE is for people to understand personal, family, community, and environmental health concerns related to pesticides and how implementing IPM principles can reduce this risk.

Teaching Interests

Teaching experience in a lecture hall, laboratory, and field settings. 3 years of experience in teaching Pesticide Safety Education to pest control professionals and the public. Invited to the University of Cape Town in South Africa in 2008 to teach analytical chemistry techniques used to extract pollutants from biosentinel tissues; invited to teach in association with a Superfund site owned by the Department of Energy, for the Savannah River Environmental Science Field Station, in 2010 and 2011. Enjoys the opportunity to work with people of varying backgrounds and craves that “ahh haa!” moment when colleagues/students/people truly understand the topic at hand.

Research Interests

Trained as a biologist, wildlife ecologist, environmental toxicologist, haemoparasitologist, and molecular biologist. Previous research has included: parasitology, ecology, wildlife population genetics, and using wildlife as bioindicators for environmental toxicology. My interests are wide and varied. As with most research past efforts have resulted in new questions about parasitology, avian/raptor ecology, and toxicology.


USU Pesticide Safety Education Program (PSEP), 2022 - Ongoing
Respiratory Safety/Fit Testing Initiative, 2019 - Ongoing
Utah Department of Agriculture and Food Professional Pesticide Applicator Study Materials Development, 2018 - Ongoing