Megan Epler Wood

Megan Epler Wood has been the Director of the International Sustainable Tourism Initiative (ISTI), Department of Environmental Health at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health since 2015. ISTI undertakes science-based applied research using quantitative systems to assist business and government with the goal of achieving net positive outcomes from tourism development worldwide. 

She teaches 3 classes at Harvard Extension School in the Graduate Program of Sustainability on environmental management of tourism, ecotourism, and regional tourism planning using geodesign. For more information on classes click here. 

In 2017, Epler Wood was named as the Managing Director of the Sustainable Tourism Asset Management Program (STAMP) at the at the Cornell University SC Johnson College of Business.  The program supports research on the sustainable management of tourism as part of the Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise.

In 2019, she was the lead author on the widely distributed report Destinations at Risk: The Invisible Burden of Tourism with support from the Travel Foundation and the STAMP Program, to address the questions of how the tourism industry can protect the environmental and social assets on which the industry depends.  She also developed a series of Harvard Business School (HBS) cases on Wilderness Safaris, reviewing questions of ecotourism entrepreneurship, impact investment and responses to COVID 19 with HBS faculty co-authors, completed in 2020.

Epler Wood has led the international consulting practice EplerWood International since 2003, fostering ecotourism development in over 35 countries with support from the World Bank, IFC, IDB, GIZ and USAID.  She is one of the founders of the ecotourism field and has contributed to the international effort to guide the development of ecotourism with businesses, communities, governments and international organizations since 1990. 

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