Contact Information

Social and Environmental Research Institute
PO Box 1487
Northampton MA 01060
phone: 413-387-9717
email: twebler [at sign here]

Thomas Webler
Research Fellow Founding Member


Thomas Webler is a founding member of SERI and is presently a full time Research Fellow with the Institute.  He was on the faculty in the Department of Environmental Studies at Antioch New England Graduate School in Keene, New Hampshire for 15 years and served as an adjunct faculty in the Department of Geography at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts for four years. His research specializes in bringing local and expert knowledge together in collaborative, democratic ways to produce innovative solutions to problems of environmental management and risk decision-making. He has a self-designed Ph.D. in interdisciplinary studies from Clark University where he focused on the social dimensions of risk analysis, technology assessment, critical social theory, and public participation. From 1992-1994 he did post-doctoral research on public participation in waste planning at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, Switzerland. Upon returning to the United States he became the consultant to a U.S. National Research Council committee studying risk communication. That committee published a report titled: Understanding Risk: Informing decisions in a democratic society. For two years he served on a US National Research Council committee on the disposal of chemical weapons. His publications include a co-authored book on advances in social science theory in the field of risk studies. The book is titled: Risk, Uncertainty, and Rational Action (London: Earthscan 2001). In 2006 he was a Fellow of the Breuninger Foundation at the University of Stuttgart on the topic of environmental collaboration. In 2007 he received a Fulbright teaching fellowship to India, where he led a field course on the human dimensions of conservation biology. He is on the Editorial Board of Environmental Communication, Society and Natural Resources and Human Ecology Review