hero image
Scott Wallace - University of Connecticut. Storrs, CT, US

Scott Wallace Scott Wallace

Associate Professor of Journalism | University of Connecticut


Scott Wallace is a bestselling author, photojournalist and educator who covers the environment and vanishing cultures worldwide.


Scott Wallace is an award-winning author, photographer and educator who has covered the environment, vanishing cultures, and conflict over land and resources around the world since the 1980s.

He is a frequent contributor to National Geographic and author of the bestselling "The Unconquered: In Search of the Amazon's Last Uncontacted Tribes." He is a frequent lecturer on exploration, the environment, and the fate of isolated indigenous tribes

Wallace has undertaken major treks while on assignment in the Amazon, the Andes, and the Himalayas and has reported from the Arctic, Southeast Asia, China, the Middle East, and the former Soviet Union. He began his career covering the wars in Central America in the 1980s for CBS News Radio, Newsweek, and the Guardian.

His television producing credits include CBS, CNN, and National Geographic Channel. He has filmed independent documentaries in Iraq and Afghanistan. His photography has appeared in publications throughout the world and is represented by Getty Images.

He has been teaching journalism at the University of Connecticut since 2017.

Areas of Expertise (7)

Amazon Rainforest


Indigenous Cultures

Uncontacted Tribes

Illegal Logging

Environmental Journalism

COVID-19 in the Amazon

Education (2)

University of Missouri School of Journalism: M.A., Print and Broadcast Reporting

Yale University: B.A., Philosophy

Languages (2)

  • Spanish
  • Portuguese

Affiliations (6)

  • Society of Environmental Journalists
  • The Overseas Press Club
  • National Press Photographers Association
  • Investigative Reporters & Editors
  • The Explorers Club
  • Society of Professional Journalists

Accomplishments (5)

Fellow, Humanities Institute, University of Connecticut (professional)


Awarded the prestigious Humanities Fellowship for 2020-21 at the University of Connecticut to pursue a major project on indigenous peoples in the Amazon rainforests of Brazil.

New York Times Best Seller List (professional)


"The Unconquered: In Search of the Amazon's Last Uncontacted Tribes" by Scott Wallace reaches the New York Times Best Seller List.

Ted Scripps Fellowship in Environmental Journalism (professional)


2014-2015 Awarded prestigious fellowship to conduct research on environmental issues. University of Colorado-Boulder

Renewable Natural Resources Foundation Excellence in Journalism Award (professional)


2014 In recognition of excellent reporting for National Geographic from the depths of the Amazon on the perilous fight of native communities against the illegal timber trade in Peru.

Explorers Club’s Lowell Thomas Award for Excellence (professional)


2012 Awarded one of the highest honors from the Explorers Club, the world's premier fellowship for scientific discovery and exploration, for "mindful" exploration and excellence in expedition reporting.




Scott Wallace Publication



loading image


The Unconquered: In Search of the Amazon's Last Uncontacted Tribes In the Crosshairs: Dispatches from Central America Scott Wallace National Geographic Live! Scott Wallace Official Bio Video The Unconquered: Brazil's People of the Arrow | Nat Geo Live


Media Appearances (13)

The Fate of the Amazon: Fires and Deforestation

"Where We Live," WNPR  radio


As fires burn in the Amazon rainforest, we ask: To what extent is deforestation responsible for the flames? Scott Wallace discusses his recent reporting on police operations against illegal logging in the Amazon. What impact does illegal logging have on the rainforest? What link does it have to the fires? And what is being done to stop it?

view more

In Today’s Headlines, Echoes of Central America’s Proxy Wars of the 1980s

New York Times  online


Scott Wallace documented deadly conflicts in crowded Central American cities and dusty hamlets during the 1980s. Their effects are still felt today.

view more

The Modern World Closes In On The Amazon

"Think" on KERA Dallas  radio


Loggers are tempted by the riches of the Amazon and its vast forestland. Scott Wallace talks about how that thirst for lumber and other natural resources is threatening indigenous groups in Brazil and Peru. His story “Isolated Nomads Are Under Siege in the Amazon Jungle” appears in the November National Geographic.

view more

Covering The Amazon's 'Unconquered' Tribes

WNPR  online


Journalist and author Scott Wallace has dedicated years to documenting the so-called "unconquered" tribes of South America. This hour, we sit down with Wallace who, in addition to traveling and writing, is a professor of journalism at the University of Connecticut.

view more

The Unconquered: Brazil's People of the Arrow

National Geographic Live!  online


Video produced in conjunction with Scott Wallace's live presentation at National Geographic Headquarters, Washington, DC. With nearly 300.000 views, thIs lecture on uncontacted tribes and the Amazon rainforest was named one of the 10 Most Watched Lectures of 2012 by National Geographic Live!

view more

"Estados Unidos aplicó en Centroamérica todo lo que aprendió en Vietnam": Scott Wallace, el célebre fotoperiodista que cubrió la región durante la crisis de los 80

BBC Mundo  online


La experiencia de Vietnam influyó de una manera muy profunda en la política de Estados Unidos en Centroamérica. La mayoría de los asesores norteamericanos que estaban trabajando en las fuerzas especiales enviadas a El Salvador eran veteranos de Vietnam que trataban de aplicar las lecciones de esa guerra a la realidad de El Salvador, utilizando tácticas agresivas, emboscadas, patrullas pequeñas, tomando la iniciativa en operaciones nocturnas, buscando cómo ganar las mentes y los corazones de la población civil con tácticas de guerra psicológica... Todas las lecciones que aprendieron en Vietnam las aplicaron en Centroamérica.

view more

Isolated Tribes

PBS  online


Today, there are approximately 100 tribes in the Amazon rainforest that have not interacted with the modern world. A hundred years ago, there were many more. In this co-production with Retro Report, Scott Wallace, author of The Unconquered, talks about the ever-shrinking world for the indigenous people who have chosen to live with limited or no contact with the outside world.

view more

Audio: Scott Wallace on the importance of protecting uncontacted indigenous groups in the Amazon

Mongabay.org  online


Wallace discusses his travels in the Amazon, the latest developments affecting the isolated tribe known as the Arrow People, the threats facing isolated and uncontacted indigenous tribes, and why allowing these groups to go extinct would be a “great stain” on our humanity.

view more

One Book Peru’s Presidents Really Must Read

Huffington Post  online


There’s a wonderful moment in The Unconquered: In Search of the Amazon‘s Last Uncontacted Tribes when the author, Scott Wallace, deep in the Brazilian Amazon accompanying a government expedition, finds himself staring at a path apparently made by indigenous people living without any contact with outsiders...

view more

Harsh Adventures: Books About Travel

The New York Times  online


Harsh Adventures: Books About Travel

view more

'Unconquered' Explores An Isolated Amazon Tribe

NPR  online


In 2002, National Geographic asked journalist Scott Wallace to chronicle the trip of a 34-man team to search for the perimeters of a people known as the flecheiros — or the Arrow People.

view more

The Last Tribes Standing

The Wall Street Journal  online


For the native peoples of the Amazon, the beginning of the end arrived one day early in 1500, when Spanish explorer Vicente Yáñez Pinzón eased his small ship into the mouth of the great river. The waterway was so incomprehensibly grand that Pinzón sailed 200 miles upstream before realizing he had left the ocean...

view more

First Contact A Journey Into The Amazon

Time  online


In his rousing book The Unconquered, veteran National Geographic journalist Scott Wallace joins Brazilian explorer and activist Sydney Possuelo on a mission to locate the Flecheiros, tribes of Brazilian Indians who have never made contact with the outside world...

view more

Event Appearances (1)

The Unconquered: Brazil's People of the Arrow

National Geographic Live!  National Geographic Headquarters, Washington, DC


Articles (14)

Coronavirus gets dangerously close to isolated ‘Arrow People’ in Amazon

National Geographic


Amid rising alarm that the novel coronavirus has reached deep into the Amazon rainforest, threatening isolated tribes, Brazil’s Supreme Court this month unanimously ruled in favor of Indigenous people’s demands to force the government to protect them from the pandemic. Even before the ruling on August 5, Indigenous groups hailed the case as an unprecedented triumph. It was the first time the high court had agreed to hear a case brought by Indigenous litigants without intermediaries, such as the Indigenous affairs agency FUNAI. The agency, whose mission is to defend the rights and lands of Brazil’s Indigenous people, has come to be seen as adversarial to their interests under the rule of hard-right president Jair Bolsonaro.

view more

The Powers of Nature



In the past year, we have witnessed cataclysmic wildfires from Australia to the Amazon, Siberia to Sumatra. Up to a billion animals perished in the Australian fires alone, while billions of tons of carbon dioxide escaped into the atmosphere. We are meanwhile racked by deadly outbreaks of zoonotic diseases, the transmission of which is aided by profit-driven destruction of natural habitats—something visionaries from tribes around the world, such as the Lakota and the Yanomami, have been warning us to halt. It has never been more urgent to listen to them. Though they account for just five percent of the global population, indigenous people hold tenure over a quarter of the world’s land surface, supporting nearly 80 percent of global biodiversity. They are the world’s premier land managers.

view more

Disaster looms for indigenous Amazon tribes as COVID-19 cases multiply

National Geographic


With the coronavirus spreading into remote territories across the Brazilian Amazon, indigenous leaders and rights officials are pleading with the government to adopt urgent measures to head off a catastrophe. According to figures compiled by the Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (APIB), the country’s principal indigenous federation, deaths from COVID-19 in indigenous communities have risen from 46 on May 1 to 262 on June 9. Together with numbers tallied by state health departments around the country, APIB’s statistics show that 9.1 percent of indigenous people who contract the disease are dying, nearly double the 5.2 percent rate among the general Brazilian population.

view more

First coronavirus deaths reported in indigenous communities in the Amazon

National Geographic

Scott Wallace


Brazilian officials and rights activists are warning of an impending public health calamity as reports emerge of the first deaths linked to the coronavirus among highly vulnerable indigenous populations across the Amazon region. Health workers in the northern state of Roraima reported on April 9 that a Yanomami adolescent had died of COVID-19, heightening concerns that he may have spread the disease to scores of friends and neighbors since developing symptoms three weeks ago. The youth had moved back and forth through an area rife with wildcat gold miners, and it’s unknown where or from whom he contracted the sickness.

view more

Death stalks the Amazon as tribes and their defenders come under attack

National Geographic

Scott Wallace


Rights advocates anticipate calamity as Brazil moves amid rising violence to weaken the agency that has long worked to protect indigenous communities and their homelands.

view more

Inside the faltering fight against illegal Amazon logging

National Geographic

Scott Wallace


A rare look inside the Brazil's environmental protection service on operation against deforestation and illegal logging in Rondônia, a state renowned for devastation and land conflict.

view more

Death of American missionary could put this indigenous tribe's survival at risk

National Georgraphic

Scott Wallace


The violent death of an American missionary on a remote island in the Indian Ocean in mid-November raises new and urgent questions about the survival of uncontacted and isolated tribes and their right to remain free from interference from the outside world.

view more

Isolated Nomads Are Under Siege in the Amazon Jungle

National Geographic Magazine

Scott Wallace


Protected forests in Brazil and Peru hold some of the world’s last remote indigenous groups, increasingly threatened by resource-hungry outsiders.

view more

Brazil's new leader promised to exploit the Amazon—but can he?

National Geographic

Scott Wallace


President-elect Jair Bolsonaro wants to harvest the rain forest’s riches, raising fears among environmentalists and indigenous communities. Are they justified?

view more

Last Stand of the Amazon’s Arrow People

The New York Times

Scott Wallace


Brazil is home to the largest number of uncontacted and isolated indigenous communities of any country in the world. But it is backsliding on its legal commitments to protect them.

view more

Why Do Environmentalists Keep Getting Killed Around the World?

Smithsonian Magazine

Scott Wallace


A double murder in Brazil exemplifies a disturbing trend: violence is on the rise against environmental activists worldwide. The underlying cause is tied to the expanding reach of the global economy into hitherto inaccessible hinterlands where governance is shaky and traditional, subsistence-oriented communities find themselves up against much more powerful, profit-hungry players.

view more

Alleged Massacre of Uncontacted Tribe Linked to Gold Mining

National Geographic

Scott Wallace


Allegations of a possible massacre of an isolated indigenous group in Brazil's western Amazon highlight the dangers to the world's most vulnerable populations.

view more

Rare Photos of Brazilian Tribe Spur Pleas to Protect It

National Geographic

Scott Wallace


The aerial photographs show Yanomami villagers gathered in the center of a traditional, circular structure inside a sprawling reserve invaded by thousands of illegal gold prospectors.

view more

North Into the Mountains: One Man’s Epic Rail Journey to the Darjeeling Himalaya

Smithsonian Journeys Quarterly

Scott Wallace


Scott Wallace retraces his wayward grandfather’s mysterious trek to a remote mountain village in the India-Tibet borderlands, where he claimed to have discovered a 'lost tribe' in 1931.

view more