Alan Watson Retires After 35 Years Of Federal Service

Man with long gray hair, wearing a t-shirt, beaded necklace, and an earring smiles at something to his right.

ALWRI’s Senior Research Social Scientist quietly packed up his gear on Friday April 24, 2020 and left camp. Alan Watson was an active wilderness researcher with the Forest Service for several years before ALWRI was officially founded in 1993. Alan’s title as Social Scientist belies the breadth of his wilderness science career, which is better described as a transdisciplinary scientist. He had responsibility for integrating social and ecological sciences in efforts to plan, manage, and steward Wilderness and protected wildlands. His career spanned the globe. Alan is the Science Coordinator for the World Wilderness Congress, an Executive Editor of the International Journal of Wilderness and has represented ALWRI on Fulbright assignments in Russia (twice), Finland, Brazil and Taiwan. He is one of the founding executive editors of the International Journal of Wilderness.  His contribution to wilderness science, the wilderness stewardship community, and to ALWRI, is vast and irreplaceable. He provided leadership in more than 40 research projects investigating topics such as rewilding, protected areas, environmental change adaptation, ecosystem services tradeoffs, traditional knowledge and wild river recreation. We thank Alan for his dedicated service to ALWRI’s mission and the legacy he has left, congratulate him on a rich career, and wish him “happy trails” wherever they may lead him next.