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CU's Kessler serving on Bernheim Board of Trustees

By Lexy Horton

Campbellsville, KY - Dr. Richie Kessler, professor of environmental science/environmental studies program coordinator at Campbellsville University, has been selected to serve on the Bernheim Forest Board of Trustees.

"I was honored to be invited to join the Bernheim Board of Trustees," Kessler said. "Bernheim is a well-respected organization in addition to being a wonderful natural resource. They strive to connect people with nature, which is something I have been trying to do in various ways over the years."

Kessler said Bernheim was looking for someone with natural resource conservation and environmental science expertise for their board.

"They were one of the few organizations I would have been interested in accepting an invitation to at that time. So, the timing seemed right for both of us," he said.

Kessler said he also serves on the Clay Hill Advisory Board and thought this might be an opportunity to foster additional collaborations between the two groups at some point.

Kessler graduated from Campbellsville College in 1989 with a Bachelor's degree in Biology. He graduated from the University of Louisville in 1992 with a Master's degree in Biology. He received his Ph.D. in Environmental Biology from the University of Louisville in 1997.

Kessler teaches Conservation Biology, Ecology, Ornithology and Environmental Physiology of Animals at Campbellsville University where he has served as a professor from 1995 until 1998 and returned in 2008.

Kessler is an aquatic ecologist. He has been serving on the Kentucky Heritage Land Conservation Fund Board for nearly 25 years as the project review chair and the board chair.

He is a part of professional societies such as the Kentucky Academy of Sciences, Natural Areas Association and the American Fisheries Society.

Kessler is married to Sonya Wilcoxson Kessler, who graduated from Campbellsville College in 1989. They have one son, Samuel.

In 2019, Bernheim Forest celebrated its 90th anniversary. Mr. Bernheim bought land that became known as Bernheim Forest, spanning over 16,000 acres. He dedicated the land to the people of his hometown. He wanted to create a place to bond between people and nature.

To create this place was not easy; Bernheim Forest was once barren of trees. To learn more about the forest, go to

This story was posted on 2022-10-12 08:11:19
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Dr. Richie Kessler

2022-10-12 - Columbia, KY - Photo courtesy Campbellsville University.
Dr. Richie Kessler, professor of environmental science/environmental studies program coordinator at Campbellsville University, has been selected to serve on the Bernheim Forest Board of Trustees.

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