Adam M. Wellstead

Adam M. Wellstead
"...when I have been in Canada, I have never heard a Canadian refer to an American as a "foreigner." He is just an "American." And, in the same way, in the United States, Canadians are not "foreigners," they are "Canadians.""
—Franklin Roosevelt


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Assistant Professor of Environmental and Energy Policy, Social Sciences

  • PhD, Renewable Resources, University of Alberta, 2006


After a 15 year career with the Canadian federal government (Natural Resources Canada) in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, I was happy to make a mid-career shift and join the Department of Social Sciences. My background in policy and public management will contribute to the research and teaching in the Environmental Policy Program. My research interests include investing multi-level governance arrangements in the natural resource sector, measuring policy capacity and evidence based policy-making, understanding place-based policy, and developing theories of the policy process. I enjoy developing and conducting (primarily online) surveys and undertaking structural equation modeling using LISERL.

I particularly enjoy collaborating with a number of scholars across North America and internationally. I look forward to continuing involvement in these distant networks as well as establishing local contacts and working with the many leading scholars at MTU. This term I am teaching the university-wide Institutions (UN2002) course and enjoy making an important contribution to the overall educational experience for undergraduate students of all disciplines.

One of the factors motivating to come to MTU are the outdoor recreational opportunities. I am an avid runner and look forward to logging many thousands of miles (both running and skiing) on the many trails throughout the Keweenaw Peninsula.

Links of Interest

Areas of Expertise

  • Policy Capacity
  • New Governance Arrangements
  • Survey Research
  • Policy Process Frameworks

Areas of Interest

  • Canadian Energy and Environmental Issues
  • Climate Change Adaptation
  • Oil Sands Development
  • Forest Policy
  • Canadian history

Peer Reviewed Publications (Since 2011)

  • Rayner, J., K. McNutt and A. Wellstead. 2013. Dispersed Capacity and Weak Coordination: The Challenge of Climate Change Adaptation in Canada's Forest Policy Sector. Review of Policy Research. 30:1. 66–90.
  • Newman, J., A. Perl, A. Wellstead and K. McNutt. 2013. Policy Capacity for Climate Change in Canada's Transportation Sector. Review of Policy Research. 30:1. 19–41.
  • Wellstead, A. and R. Stedman. 2012.The Role of Climate Change Policy Work in Canada, Canadian Political Science Review, Vol 6, No 1 (117-124). Read More
  • Doelle, M., Tollefson, C., Henschel, C., A. Wellstead, and J. Smith. 2012. New Governance Arrangements at the Intersection of Climate Change and Forest Policy: Institutional, Political and Regulatory Dimensions. Public Administration. 90:1. 37-55.
  • Wellstead, A., R. Stedman, and M. Howlett. 2011. Multi-Level Policy Analytical Capacity in Canada: A Structural Equation Model (SEM) Study of Federal, Provincial and Territorial Policy Analysts and Analysis. Public Policy and Administration.
  • Aubin, I. , C.M. Garbe , S. Colombo , C. R. Drever , D. W. McKenney, C. Messier, J. Pedlar, M. A. Saner , L. Venier, A. M. Wellstead , R. Winder , E. Witten , C. Ste-Marie. 2011. Why we disagree about assisted migration : Ethical implications of a key debate regarding the future of Canada's forests. Forestry Chronicle. 87. 755-765.
  • Howlett, M. and A. Wellstead. 2011. Policy Analysts in the Bureaucracy Revisited: The Nature of Professional Policy Work in Contemporary Government. Politics & Policy. 39: 613–633
  • Howlett, M. and A. Wellstead (Accepted for publication). The Nature of Policy Work and Policy Capacity at the Sub-national Level: Evidence from Canada’s Provinces and Territories. Canadian Public Administration.
  • Wellstead, A. Howlett, M. and J. Rayner. (Accepted for publication). Beyond the Black Box: Forest Sector Vulnerability Assessments and Adaptation to Climate Change in North America. Environmental Science and Policy.

Teaching Experience

  • SS5350 (Environmental Policy Analysis)
  • SS5318 (Public Sector Management)
  • SS4636 (The Modern State and Governance)
  • FW3110 (Natural Resources Policy)
  • UN2002 (Institutions)
  • SS3410 (World Resources and Development)