Adam M. Wellstead

Adam M. Wellstead
"Academics are the only people I can think of for whom this sentence makes sense: 'I'm hoping to get some time off so that I can get some work done.'"
—Sidney Verba


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  • Associate Professor of Public Policy, Social Sciences
  • PhD, Renewable Resources, University of Alberta, 2006


I joined the Department of Social Sciences in 2011 after a 15 year career with Canadian federal government. My background in policy and public management will contribute to the research and teaching in the Environmental Policy Program. My research interests include investigating multi-level governance arrangements in the natural resource sector, measuring policy capacity and evidence based policy-making, policy mechanisms, and theories of the policy process. I enjoy developing and conducting (primarily online) surveys and undertaking structural equation modeling using LISREL.

Links of Interest

Areas of Expertise

  • Policy advisory systems
  • Governance and political mechanisms
  • Survey research
  • Policy process frameworks

Areas of Interest

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

Selected Peer Reviewed Publications (Since 2011)

  • Carson, D. and A. Wellstead. (Accepted) Policy Work at Risk: The Case of the Northern Territory, Australia. Australian Journal of Public Administration.
  • Evans, B. and A. Wellstead. (Accepted) Tales of Policy Estrangement: Non-governmental Policy Work and Capacity in Three Canadian Provinces. Canadian Journal of Nonprofit and Social Economy Research.
  • Wellstead, A. and R. Stedman. (Accepted) Addressing the Challenges of Climate Change Policy: Integrating Public Management and Public Policy Studies. International Journal of Public Administration.
  • Veselý, A., Wellstead. A. and B. Evans. (Accepted) Comparing sub-national policy workers in Canada and the Czech Republic: Who are they, what they do, and why it matters? Policy and Society.
  • Howlett, M., Tan, S. Migone, A., Wellstead, A. and B. Evans. (Accepted) Policy Formulation and the Tools of Policy Appraisal: The Distribution of Analytical Techniques in Policy Advisory Systems Public Policy and Administration.
  • Petersen, B. and A. Wellstead. 2014. Responding to a Forest Catastrophe: The Emergence of New Governance Arrangements in Southern California. ISRN Economics.
  • Wellstead, A. Rayner, J. and M. Howlett. 2014. Beyond the Black Box: Forest Sector Vulnerability Assessments and Adaptation to Climate Change in North America. Environmental Science and Policy. 35. 109–116
  • 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.
  • Howlett, J., and J. Rayner. 2013. Understanding Governance in the Forest Sector: Overcoming Latent Structural-Functionalism in Climate Change Vulnerability Assessments. Ecology and Society. 18(3): 23
  • Evans, B. and A. Wellstead. 2013. Policy Dialogue and Engagement Between Non-Government Organizations and Government: A Survey of Processes and Instruments of Canadian Policy Workers. Central European Journal of Public Policy. 7:1. 60-86.
  • 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. 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
  • Howlett, M. and A. Wellstead. 2012. The Nature of Policy Work and Policy Capacity at the Sub-national Level: Evidence from Canada’s Provinces and Territories. Canadian Public Administration. 55:1. 53–68.
  • Howlett, M. and A. Wellstead. 2012. Policy Work in Multi-Level States: Institutional Autonomy and Task Allocation among Canadian Policy Analysts. Canadian Journal of Political Science. 45:4. 757-780.
  • 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

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)