Nathan Young
Nathan Young
Full Professor, School of Sociological and Anthropological Studies
Faculty of Social Sciences

613-562-5800 ext. 7144


Nathan Young is an environmental sociologist with a strong interest in natural resources, rural development, and the role of different types of knowledge in environmental management and decision-making. His recent research has focused on media portrayals of climate change, conflicts over fisheries and aquaculture, and community resilience in the face of environmental changes. He regularly collaborates with natural scientists on research into the human dimensions of environmental issues. His latest book (2015) is entitled An Environmental Sociology for the Twenty-First Century (Oxford), and his 2010 book The Aquaculture Controversy in Canada (co-authored with Ralph Matthews) won the K.D. Srivastiva Award for Scholarly Excellence in Publishing – Book of the Year from UBC Press.


Nathan Young is an environmental sociologist, which means he is interested in the relationship between nature and human societies. His research focuses on environmental controversies, environmental policy and decision-making, perceptions of the environment, the role of science and local/traditional knowledge in claims-making about the environment, community resilience and adaptation, and environmental inequalities.

Fields of Interest

  • Environmental sociology
  • Natural resources
  • Fisheries and aquaculture
  • Oceans and coastal areas
  • Social and political dimensions of climate change
  • Sociology of science and knowledge
  • Political economy
  • Economic globalization

Type of Student Support He Seeks from a Student

I am interested in working with students interested in the social or human dimensions of environmental problems and conflicts.

Research Question Examples a Student He Supervises Could Work On

  1. How and why do people perceive environmental issues, conflicts, or controversies differently?
  2. Why are some environmental issues controversial, but not others?
  3. What influences environmental policy and decision-making at different levels and scales?
  4. How can environmental conflicts be resolved?
  5. What is the role of science and/or other forms of knowledge in environmental decision-making?
  6. How can community resilience and/or adaptive capacity to environmental changes be enhanced?
  7. Where do environmental inequalities come from? How can they be mitigated?