His research and professional experience focuses upon the shared management of transboundary watercourses, emphasizing multi-stakeholder negotiations and cooperative planning to manage environmental risks through multi-objective infrastructure. His methods involve collaborative risk-based modelling, particularly when facing deep uncertainties of future climate changes and growing pressures on natural resources.
Since 2000, Dr. Wheeler has worked on multiple issues surrounding the Colorado River, including facilitation of the successful negotiations between the USA and Mexico in 2012. He has represented multiple stakeholders, including federal, state-level, and non-governmental parties, by developing and applying technical tools as mediation ‘boundary objects’ amongst competing interests.
Since 2012, Dr. Wheeler has extended this approach to the Nile River Basin by exploring cooperative development pathways among the co-riparian countries of Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia. Alongside regional academic and governmental partners, he develops negotiated management strategies for new and existing infrastructure to secure water supplies, meet growing energy demands, and support environmental needs.
Dr. Wheeler is an associate editor for the journal Water International, an advisor for the Future of the Colorado River Project, and a former Research Fellow in Sustainability Science at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Furthermore, he is Returned Peace Corps Volunteer where he led the development of community-based water projects in the Dominican Republic and Haiti.