Dr. Jason Wilder has been appointed Dean of the College of the Environment, Forestry and Natural Sciences (CEFNS), effective immediately.
Dr. Wilder has a long and vibrant history at NAU. In 2008, he started his career in the Department of Biological Sciences as assistant professor and advanced into leadership positions, including director of the Biomedical Science degree program and chair of the Department of Biological Sciences. Since May 2019, he has served as interim dean of CEFNS.
As Interim Dean, Dr. Wilder worked diligently to build new academic programs and encourage thoughtful assessment and evaluation of existing programs during a time of transition for the college. He took the lead on identifying objectives within the larger NAU Strategic Plan and advanced student achievement and access while fostering a productive research environment.
“My overriding passion is to create an academic environment that offers exceptional opportunities for students to learn and engage with science while also fostering an environment that empowers NAU scientists to thrive as international leaders in research and discovery,” Dr. Wilder said.
In addition to Dr. Wilder’s distinguished leadership positions, he has a proven record of success in scholarship, research, and extramural funding. Currently, in a partnership between NAU and the University of Arizona Cancer Center, he works to develop and evaluate investigator-led research projects that address the increased burden of cancer in Native American communities.
Through this work, Dr. Wilder ensures that research projects provide opportunities for training of undergraduates, graduate students, and postdoctoral scholars—with an emphasis on engaging Native American trainees.
“Jason’s credentials demonstrate his ability to advance CEFNS in a way that is aligned with NAU’s broader institutional priorities,” said Diane Stearns, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. “His combination of visionary academic leadership, administrative skills, and success as a scholar will make him an excellent dean.”
Dr. Wilder has an M.A. and a Ph.D. in ecology and evolutionary biology, both from Princeton University.