Alan E. Watson

Alan E. Watson
Year Elected ALS Fellow: 
Highest Degree: 
Ph.D., Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University
Current Position: 
Research Social Scientist, Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute, USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station

Dr. Alan Watson is the Supervisory Research Social Scientist at the Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute, the international center for wilderness research supported by both the US Departments of Interior and Agriculture, located on the University of Montana campus, Missoula.

Dr. Watson is a transdisciplinary scientist with primary responsibility for integrating social and ecological sciences in efforts to plan and manage for optimization of protected area benefits. Dr. Watson is Adjunct Faculty at the University of Montana, College of Forestry & Conservation; he has also served on faculty and graduate committees at the University of Lapland, the University of Alaska – Anchorage, Colorado State University, University of Klagenfurt, and Evergreen College.

Dr. Watson is the Executive Editor of the International Journal of Wilderness (since 1994), served as an Associate Editor of the Journal of Leisure Research (12 years), and has served as Guest Editor of the Journal of Park and Recreation Administration, Journal of Leisure Research and Leisure Sciences.

He also serves as the Science Symposium Chair of the World Wilderness Congress (Bangalore, India, 1998; Port Elizabeth, South Africa, 2001; Anchorage, Alaska, 2005, Merida, Yucatan, Mexico 2009, and Salamanca, Spain 2013) and is frequently requested for international consulting services and training, including service to South Africa, Finland, Brazil, Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, Republic of China, and New Zealand.

Dr. Watson was a Fulbright Research Scholar at the Arctic Centre of the University of Lapland, Finland in 1999, and a Fulbright Senior Protected Area Specialist at the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, in 2003, the Russian Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg in 2005, the Russian Ministry of the Environment in Pskov Region in 2015 and National Taitung University in Taitung and Pongso no Tao, Taiwan in 2014.

Expertise: wilderness, rewilding, protected areas, environmental change adaptation, ecosystem services tradeoffs, traditional knowledge and wild river recreation