Wayde Morse — Faculty

Auburn University, Auburn, AL

Photo of Dr. Wayde Morse with his award post-ceremony

Dr. Wayde Morse with his award post-ceremony.

Wayde is Associate Professor of Natural Resource Sociology in the School of Forestry & Wildlife Sciences.  His longstanding commitment to the principles and practices of sustainability can be tracked throughout his academic career, his experiences in the Peace Corps in Panama, and in his teaching and research as a member of Auburn’s faculty.

His graduate school research focused on the economics of conservation and outdoor recreation and his dissertation was on Costa Rica’s world-leading payment for ecosystems services program. In the Peace Corps, Wayde trained teachers in environmental education. At Auburn, the core of Wayde’s research is on sustainability issues, in particular the interconnections between humans and the natural world.

Early in his career at Auburn, Wayde joined with the Office of Sustainability in adopting Alan AtKisson’s Sustainability Compass as a framework for teaching sustainability according to four principal components represented by the four cardinal points of a compass: Nature, the Economy, Society, and individual Wellbeing.  Wayde incorporates this framework into every course he teaches and several of his courses are included in the Sustainability Minor.

Wayde is a true innovator with a proclivity for taking action to move the sustainability needle.  As a junior faculty member, he showed remarkable creativity by developing several new courses, hosting two sustainability-related conferences, and leading the development of a new and different major with a conservation focus, Natural Resources Management (NRM).  The NRM major requires courses from all four points of the Sustainability Compass.  Wayde led an enhancement of this new major with four Natural Resource minors including Nature-Based Recreation and Ecotourism, Watershed Management, Natural Resource Ecology, and Urban Environmental Management.

Wayde advises over 40 students in the NRM major. He is faculty co-advisor to the newly formed NRM club, the Society for Natural Resources. The Society’s goal is to generate passion, inspiration, and community commitment in a new generation of conservationists.

Wayde uses his classes to immerse his students in exploration of the natural world in nearby natural areas and in biennial trips to Costa Rica.  Wayde is on the board of directors of the Louise Kreher Forest Ecology Preserve & Nature Center in Auburn where he helps guide the development of interpretation and programming content for this highly-valued local asset. He is also on the board of Alabama Trails Commission and leads the research and education committee.   As an innovator, educator, and scholar, Wayde is making a significant contribution to furthering sustainability at and beyond Auburn University.