Richard Wetzler, PhD

Research Advisor, Sustainability, Harvard Extension School
Rick Wetzler's research applies quantitative, predictive approaches of ecological science to international contexts of biodiversity conservation, natural resource policy, and ecosystem management. While an associate professor at Tufts and then Brown, he founded a sixteen-year collaboration with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), delivering capacity-building curricula for hundreds of mid-career leaders from sixty developing nation faculties, nongovernmental organizations, and governments. Wetzler directed the environmental studies programs at University of Toronto and Tufts, where he also founded Tufts' Center for Geographic Information Systems. He led twenty-five courses including forest ecology, international environmental health, ecological risk assessment, geographic information systems (GIS), entomology, marine biology, environmental security, and a core American studies course. While a research fellow at Cornell, his agro-ecology investigations explored sustainable pest management, integrating field crop assessment, experimentation, and predictive diffusion modeling. Wetzler earned his doctorate in ecology at Yale, where he established the university's first biodiversity course. His concurrent research explored dispersal processes and dispersion patterns defining colonization of tropical dry forests. Wetzler's advisory and governing board service includes project and program review for the Luce Foundation, UNEP, Ecological Society of America, and US Environmental Protection Agency. Wetzler's consultancies include US Congress, Canadian Forestry Service, University of Geneva, UN Development Program and UNEP. His invited lectures on five continents identify emergent initiatives in international sustainable development.


  • PhD Yale University