THE STORY OF EPLERWOOD INTERNATIONAL
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.
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
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)
2010-present: Cornell Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise
- Guides independent research by MBAs and develops the Sustainable Tourism Asset Program (STAMP)
- Collaborates with Director, Dr. Mark Milstein to write the report, Destinations at Risk: The Invisible Burden (2019) funded by The Travel Foundation.
- Launches a comprehensive on-line, self-pace course in 2021, Sustainable Tourism Destination Management, published by eCornell for global distribution, created to support young professionals worldwide who seek to manage tourism destinations at the regional level using sustainability data management systems and benchmarked strategies for protecting social and environmental assets while covering the cost of the Invisible Burden.This course concept was originally created by EplerWood International for grant funding and was undertaken with the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business’ Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise Sustainable Tourism Asset Management Program (STAMP) in partnership with global NGO The Travel Foundation, with grant support, raised by EplerWood International from Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).
Learn more about the Cornell Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise HERE.
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.