Thomas K. Wessels, MA

Faculty Emeritus
Department of Environmental Studies

AUNE Contact Information

Highest Degree

MA, University of Colorado Boulder

Areas of Expertise

natural history, alpine, desert & forest ecosystems, principles of sustainability


As a terrestrial ecologist I consider myself a generalist with interests in forest, desert, and alpine ecosystems, geomorphology, evolutionary ecology, and the interface between landscape and culture. Although my graduate training was as a research ecologist, my avocation is to teach which I do through my courses at Antioch, my books, and the numerous public workshops I conduct each year.

Expert Bio

Tom Wessels is an ecologist and founding director of the master's degree program in Conservation Biology at Antioch University New England. He is the current chair of The Center for Whole Communities ( that fosters inclusive communities that are strongly rooted in place and where all people regardless of income, race, or background have access to and a healthy relationship with land. He is former chair of the Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation that fosters environmental leadership through graduate fellowships and organizational grants. He serves as an ecological consultant to the Rain Forest Alliance's SmartWood Green Certification Program. In that capacity Tom helped draft green certification assessment guidelines for forest operations in the northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. Tom has conducted landscape level workshops throughout the United States for over 30 years. His books include: Reading the Forested Landscape, The Granite Landscape, Untamed Vermont, The Myth of Progress: Toward a Sustainable Future, and Forest Forensics: A Field Guide to reading the Forested Landscape.