Wade is Professor of Anthropology and the BC Leadership Chair in Cultures and Ecosystems at Risk at the University of British Columbia. Between 1999 and 2013, he served as Explorer-in-Residence at the National Geographic Society and is currently a member of the NGS Explorers Council. Author of 20 books, including The Serpent and the Rainbow, One River, The Wayfinders and The Sacred Headwaters, he holds degrees in anthropology and biology and received his Ph.D. in ethnobotany, all from Harvard University. His film credits include Light at the Edge of the World, an eight-hour documentary series written and produced for National Geographic. Wade is the recipient of 11 honorary degrees, as well as the 2009 Gold Medal from the Royal Canadian Geographical Society for his contributions to anthropology and conservation, the 2011 Explorers Medal the highest award of the Explorers Club, the 2012 David Fairchild Medal for botanical exploration, the 2013 Ness Medal for geography education from the Royal Geographical Society and the 2015 Centennial Medal of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Harvard University. In 2016, he was made a Member of the Order of Canada.