Introducing Cameron Wake, new director of UNE North

Portrait of Cameron Wake
Cameron Wake, Ph.D., new director of UNE North

UNE North, the Center for North Atlantic Studies at the University of New England, has a new director.

Cameron Wake, Ph.D., former Josephine A. Lamprey Professor of Climate and Sustainability at the University of New Hampshire (UNH) Sustainability Institute and research professor at UNH’s Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space, assumed the role on June 12.

Wake comes to UNE with 35 years of experience in directing an interdisciplinary research program focused on studying regional climate change, engaging partners in the science and solutions related to the changing climate, and developing sustainability education and research opportunities for students. He is an accomplished researcher with experiences ranging from the recovery and analysis of ice cores from the Arctic and the Himalayan regions to the study of how climate and land cover changes affect key ecosystems in New Hampshire.

Highly successful in securing grant funding, Wake has served as the principal investigator on dozens of grant-funded research projects, including ones funded by the National Science Foundation, The Nature Conservancy, U.S. Housing and Urban Development, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, and New Hampshire Sea Grant. His vast and thorough knowledge of the direct and indirect effects of climate change has earned him hundreds of speaking engagements and media interviews; the occasion to counsel elected representatives at the municipal, state, and federal level; and the opportunity to testify to the U.S. House of Representatives. 

For more than two decades, Wake has taught undergraduate courses highly pertinent to the work of UNE North, including Ecology and Society in a Changing Arctic, Global Environmental Change, Climate Change and Health, and a Sustainability Capstone. He holds a professorship in climate and sustainability at UNH and served as program chair for the Sustainability Dual Major program, which helps students develop critical knowledge, skills, and experiences to build a better, more sustainable world.

Additionally, Wake guided the development of the UNH Summer Sustainability Fellows, which pairs exceptional students from universities across the U.S. with municipal, educational, corporate, and nonprofit partners to work on transformative sustainability initiatives. More recently, he helped to secure an NSF Research Training grant to transform graduate education at UNH with a focus on the Arctic, and he has mentored countless graduate and undergraduate students in field research related to climate change and sustainability. 

Having led the effort for UNH to join the University of the Arctic consortium (UArctic). Wake is served as the UArctic representative for UNH — one of the universities with whom UNE co-hosted the UArctic Assembly last June. He also helped create the New England Arctic Network, whose fall meeting UNE hosted in November 2021.

Wake replaces Sally McCormack Tutt, PT, D.P.T., M.P.H., Ed.D., associate dean for Academic Affairs within UNE’s Westbrook College of Health Professions, who has served as interim director of UNE North since August.

“Dr. Wake is already ‘plugged in’ to much of the work of which UNE North is a part, and we foresee him hitting the ground running in his directorship. We are delighted to ride the next wave of UNE North’s great work with him,” remarked UNE President James Herbert. “We are grateful for Dr. McCormack Tutt for her leadership, which has been instrumental in keeping UNE North programs and initiatives active, and for exploring ways to better integrate health sciences and health professions programming into UNE North initiatives.”