Stephen R. Madigosky

Stephen R. Madigosky, EdD

  • Chair, Environmental Science and Sustainability
  • Professor of Environmental Science and Biology
Media Expertise:
  • Science & Environment

Affiliated Programs


  • EdD, Biology (1987)
    Ball State University (IN)

About Me

I received my undergraduate degree in natural resources conservation from the University of Connecticut. My master's and doctorate degrees were obtained from Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana, in natural resource conservation and biology, respectively. While pursuing doctoral studies at Ball State University, my work centered on honing my teaching skills and understanding the ecological habitats of ancient environments using plant spore systematics. Remnants of this theme persist in the work that I pursue today, both in the classroom and while working in tropical rainforests.

My students have always been an intricate part of my research pursuits, and I am most excited about mentoring and training them to become watchful stewards of the natural world. Early in my career, I conducted toxicological research at the Louisiana State University Center for Excellence in Cancer Research, assessing how environmental pollutants impact invertebrates and human cells. Currently, I hold a joint appointment in the Departments of Environmental Science and Biology at Widener University. Aspects of forest biology/tropical ecology and forest conservation/sustainable development have been my focus for more than two decades. The crux of this work centers on understanding how tropical forests repair themselves after small-scale disturbance. Additionally, I have monitored the forest microclimate in the Iquitos, Peru region for more than 20 years, and I have applied this information to understanding how this biologically rich environment supports a plethora of species.

My work in the area of sustainable development involves creating ventures that promote the preservation of rare and endangered tropical species. My most recent initiative focuses on creating market outlets for Central and South American coffee farmers. This project entices conventional coffee farmers to convert their operations to environmentally friendly shade grown organic conditions by paying them a higher living wage. The "cultivation to cup" program, as it is now called, creates a unique association between university faculty/students, rural coffee farmers, coffee roasters, and food service providers, all for promoting a greener environment. Students get the opportunity to travel each year to Costa Rica to conduct research as a part of this endeavor.

Research Interests

My research interests include forest phenology/climatology, sustainable development, and tropical ecology.

Media Expertise

  • Rainforest conservation
  • Tropical biology/ecology
  • Sustainable development
  • Science education
  • Service learning


  • Swierk, L., Madigosky, S.R. (2014). Environmental perceptions and resource use in rural communities of the Peruvian Amazon (Iquitos and vicinity, Maynas Province). Tropical Conservation Science, 7(3), 382–402.
  • Madigosky, S.R. (2004). Chapter 2 -Tropical microclimatic considerations; Chapter 22, survival strategies. In M. Lowman and B. Rinker (Eds.), Forest Canopies. Burlington, MA: Elsevier, Inc.
  • Madigosky, S.R. and Vatnick, I. (2000). Micrometeorologic characteristics of a primary tropical Amazon rainforest - ACEER, Iquitos, Peru. Selbyana, 21, 165–172.

Professional Affiliations & Memberships

Pennsylvania Climate Adaptation Project Task Force for Chester,  Advisory Board


  • Distinguished Professor Award, Widener University (2014)
  • Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching (2013)
  • Widener University College of Arts and Sciences Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching (2012)


In the Media


  • Widener Students Visit New York City for Urban Excursions Trip

    Widener faculty recently took 20 students to New York City as part of the urban excursions grant program, which allows faculty to take students on daylong trips to a metropolitan area to allow for deeper engagement and hands-on experiences as they relate to course material. 

    Led by YuFeng Mao, associate professor of history, Beatriz Urraca, chair of modern languages, and Stephen Madigosky, chair of environmental science and sustainability, students visited popular New York City stops such as the Natural History Museum, Central Park, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Times Square, and Koreatown. The trip also coincided with the date of the 2023 New York City Marathon, where students were able to watch and cheer on runners. 

    In addition to experiencing the iconic New York sites, students were also exposed to the diverse culinary culture of the city by trying Latin American food, Dim Sum, and Korean shaved ice and coffee. 

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