1982-1986: World Wildlife Fund – U.S.

Epler Wood designs and produces U.S. national Public Service Announcement (PSA) video campaigns with David Attenborough, Jimmy Stewart, and Sylvia Earle. Designs and manages, Evening with World Wildlife — live, big screen, illustrated events in major museums in the U.S. with Prince Philip, Russell Train, and Dr. Thomas Lovejoy, Dr. Russell Mittermeir and Dr. Mark Plotkin et al; supports the Save the Panda and U.S. Endangered Species Act campaigns as PR and Communications Officer.

1987-2002: EcoVentures

EcoVentures, owned by Epler Wood, produces environmental films and videos:

  • The Environmental Tourist for WTBS and PBS in the U.S., 1990. The first broadcast film on ecotourism as sustainable development tool. WATCH VIDEO
  • Amboseli Lion produced for National Geographic Channel on lion behavior in the Masai Mara (1989). Video excerpted from the Ecoventures produced, home video series Armchair Safaris with George Plimpton– noted as home video of the year in People Magazine. (1990) WATCH VIDEO
  • Destino Nublado, 1988. Spanish language, wildlife and biodiversity conservation film produced at La Planada, Colombia with support from the U.S. Fulbright Program, WWF-US, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Foundation. Final film was broadcast on national television in Colombia on Earth Day and distributed by WWF-U.S. throughout Latin America. WATCH NOW

1990-2003: The International Ecotourism Society

Founded with Dr. David Western of Kenya as the first Chair of the Board and was Executive Director, this was the first organization dedicated to ecotourism as a sustainable development tool. Directs the non-profit for 12 years, which attracts global membership, research, books, and workshop programs and the first International Ecolodge Conference with leading hoteliers, architects, renewable energy specialists, and conservationists.

2003-present: EplerWood International

  • Forms a consultancy which guides over 15 projects and undertakes research for major development agencies, businesses, municipalities, and academic organizations. VIEW PROJECTS
  • Develops a relationship with both Harvard and Cornell to undertake advanced research in the field of sustainable tourism in 2010. VIEW AFFILIATIONS

2010-2021: Harvard Extension School

Developed three comprehensive courses at Harvard Extension between 2010 and 2021:
Environmental Management of International Tourism Development: This course, under the guidance of instructor Megan Epler Wood, illuminated the global significance of the international tourism industry and its key sectors; hotels, cruise lines, tour operators, airports and airlines, and destinations. This course resulted in the text book by Megan Epler Wood, Sustainable Tourism on a Finite Planet, one of the only text books in the world to cover all sectors of the industry in one volume. In the course, students delved into the positive and negative impacts of global tourism operations, supply chains, and the unique structure of the tourism industry, and wrote research papers on specific environmental management strategies and data on impacts in travel and tourism sectors in destinations worldwide.
Sustainable Tourism, Regional Planning, & Geodesign: Instructed by Dr. Vicente Molés, Megan Epler Wood, and Dr. Stephen M. Ervin; this course introduced students to fundamental principles of tourism master planning. Working with experts on destination planning and GIS, students learned to develop master planning protocols which allow for community participation to enable an inclusive, sustainable, visualized and data oriented  approach to the planning and management of tourism destinations worldwide.

Ecotourism Businesses Development, Monitoring, Market Research & Investment Preparation: Instructed by Megan Epler Wood, this course catered to tourism professionals seeking to develop socially and environmentally responsible businesses, which contributed to both conservation and local well-being. Participants acquired fundamental triple bottom line business planning skills to create robust business models, integrating financial, social and environmental indicators into business planning from startup to long-term management for small to medium-sized enterprises.

Learn more about the courses offered HERE.

2014-2018: Harvard International Sustainable Tourism Initiative (ISTI)

This was the first research program to undertake sustainable tourism research at Harvard University which formally ran from 2014-2018, but continued via continued research funding and collaboration with Harvard Business School, Harvard Extension, and Harvard Graduate School of Design until 2021. 

  • Developed a sustainable tourism research unit within the Center for Health and the Environment (2015-2018) under Dr. Jack Spengler, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
  • Directed the ISTI project, Tourism and a Changing Climate, under Dr. Jack Spengler and Dr. Henry Lee, which led to the ISTI Framework to manage destinations, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Harvard Kennedy School with Sofia Fotiadou, ISTI Research Manager. Funded by GIZ.
  • Created new models with collaborators Dr. Stephen Ervin of the Harvard Graduate School of Design and Dr. Vicente Moles for the use of Geodesign to manage and create data-driven, mapped-based strategic plans for destinations. (2015-present)
  • Undertook research with Harvard Business School Social Enterprise Initiative (HBSSEI) to write three Wilderness Safaris case studies. (2018 & 2020)
Learn more about the International Sustainable Tourism Initiative HERE.

2010-present: Cornell Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise

Learn more about the Cornell Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise HERE.

2021-present: DestInvest

EplerWood International launched Destinvest in 2021 to provide destinations with the vision, university-tested methods and capacity building required to implement sustainable destination programs using federal, regional, and international finance programs to help regions Build Back Better.