Stephen Wyatt is Professor of Forest Policy and Social Forestry at the Université de Moncton in Edmundston, New Brunswick. Originally from Australia, he trained at the Australian National University before working as a professional forester in Australia and in Vanuatu (South Pacific) and then going on to Masters and Doctoral degrees in forest science at Université Laval. Commencing an academic career in 2005, he was elected to the College of New Scholars in 2017.
His research examines social and political issues related to the sustainable use and management of forestlands, and especially the ways in which Indigenous peoples are reasserting their stewardship of traditional lands. This requires interdisciplinary approaches drawing upon both the social and natural sciences to understand the complex interplay of processes by which groups with different worldviews interact – whether collaboratively or through conflict – to determine how natural resources are used and managed. These are key questions for contemporary Canada and Stephen leads and collaborates in projects across the country both to undertake case studies and to “scale-up” these studies to provide a broader understanding of different policy environments and options. He is also a coordinator of a global research group on forest history and traditional knowledge for the International Union of Forest Research Organisations.
He believes that the College and the Society provide unique opportunities to bring together leading researchers, crossing traditional disciplinary boundaries to address the complex issues faced by Canadian society.