Richard Wiese

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Richard Wiese
Born Richard Wiese
Long Island, New York, United States
Occupation Explorer, host, producer, author

Richard Wiese (born July 13, 1959) is an explorer. He is the author of the guidebook, Born to Explore: How to Be a Backyard Adventurer.[1] In 2002 he was the youngest man to become president of the Explorers Club.

Wiese is also the host and executive producer of the Emmy Award-winning television series Born to Explore with Richard Wiese™, which debuted September 3, 2011 and airs weekly on ABC. Its third season of half-hour episodes premiered October 5, 2013.

Personal life[edit]

Richard Wiese was born in Long Island, New York. His father, Richard Wiese, Sr., was the first man to solo the Pacific Ocean in an aircraft. Wiese grew up traveling and exploring with his father. Wiese's first substantial adventure was climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania at the age of 11. Wiese has since then led many other explorations and projects. As a decathlete at St. Anthony's High School in Smithtown, New York, he set a new Long Island record for the javelin.

Wiese graduated from Brown University in 1982 with a Bachelor of Science in Geology and Biology, and spent his college years modeling for Ford. He also studied Applied Physiology at Columbia University and completed the USDA Graduate Program in Meteorology.

Wiese lives in Weston, Connecticut.


Wiese has traveled to all seven continents and has participated in numerous expeditions and projects. In early 2002, he became president of The Explorers Club - the youngest in the organization's history. During his four-year term, he worked in Mexico's Yucatán jungle placing satellite collars on jaguars. He also climbed and sampled Tanzania's volcano Ol Doinyo Lengai (which means "mountain of god" in the language of the local Maasai tribe) and participated in two expeditions to Antarctica to core glaciers for climatological studies.

During that same period, Wiese was a member of the largest medical expedition ever conducted on Mount Everest. He also cross-country skied to the North Pole and was a member of the 2004 Yeronisos Island expedition in Cyprus. In addition, he led an expedition to bio-prospect for extremophiles and new life forms in Mount Kilimanjaro's Ngorongoro Crater, resulting in the discovery of 29 new life forms. That expedition to Mount Kilimanjaro also involved placing the first weather station on its slopes, which has been crucial for tracking the effects of global warming.[2]

Expeditions of note[edit]



  • Uluru Caves: rock caves and ancient Aboriginal drawings and paintings
  • Uluru/Ayers Rock


  • Took part in excavation of the largest horned dinosaur bone bed in North America at Pipestone Creek. This expedition in Alberta, Canada was part of ongoing research into the discovery of the pachyrhinosaurus.


  • Member of the 2004 Yeronisos Island Expedition excavating the archaeological temple site of Caesarion, Cleopatra and Julius Caesar’s son.


  • Wiese and his production team were the first non-Moroccans to visit the remote village of Tafraout Issirce in the Atlas Mountains.

New York

  • “BioBlitz” - In 2003 in New York’s Central Park, Wiese organized a 24-hour cataloguing of all living organisms. More than 500 scientists and naturalists participated, and more than 800 species were identified, including 393 species of plants, 78 moths, 14 fungi, 10 spiders, 9 dragonflies, 2 tardigrades, 102 other invertebrates, 7 mammals, 3 turtles, 46 birds and 2 frogs.[3]

In the Media[edit]

Born to Explore with Richard Wiese™: ABC/Litton television series[edit]

Born to Explore with Richard Wiese is one of six original, half-hour HD programs that form the Litton Weekend Adventure block of programming airing on Saturday mornings on ABC stations in the United States. The series premiered Saturday, September 3, 2011. Born to Explore travels to unpublicized corners of the earth to celebrate the diversity of world cultures, explore the animal kingdom and discover the natural wonders of the planet. The series also strives to create a positive cultural message. As of May 2014, it is airing its third season of 26 half-hour episodes.

Season 1 (2011–12):

  • Daytime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Children’s Series[4]
  • SABRE Award for "Product Placement" along with Travel Canada[5]
  • 2012 Cronkite Award for Excellence in Exploration and Journalism

Season 2 (2012–13):

  • Two Daytime Emmy nominations: Outstanding Travel Series and Outstanding Achievement in Single Camera Photography
  • Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Achievement in Single Camera Photography
  • Parents’ Choice Gold Award for teens 13-16
  • Cynopsis Kids Imagination Award for tweens 9-14
  • Bronze Telly Award for cultural programming

Season 3 (2013–14):

  • Three Daytime Emmy nominations: Outstanding Host, Lifestyle/Travel Program; Outstanding Directing, Lifestyle/Culinary/Travel Program; Outstanding Special Class Writing
  • Parents’ Choice Gold Award for teens 13-16
  • 11 Telly Awards: 2 Silver, 9 Bronze

For Season 1, Wiese and his production team filmed in Botswana, Uganda, Iceland, England, Morocco, Australia, Canada, Hawaii, and North Carolina. For Season 2, the team filmed in Chile, Cyprus, South Africa, Namibia, India, British Columbia, and South Dakota. Season 3 locations included Scotland, Indonesia, India, South Africa, Namibia, Arizona, Maine and New York City.

TV & Film[edit]

Richard appeared in two feature films: in 1982, in a brief love scene with Brooke Shields in Endless Love and in 1986, as ‘Chris’ in Club Paradise. He was host of Exploration with Richard Wiese, a TV series that was syndicated in the U.S. and distributed internationally. He also hosted Hell on Earth, which aired on Discovery in the U.S. and BBC in the UK. He makes regular appearances on Good Morning America and has been a guest on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, WB, Fox, CBS Morning Show, ABC, MSNBC, and the WB11 Morning Show.

Print media[edit]

Wiese is a featured contributor to The Huffington Post. In 2003 People magazine named Wiese one of the 25 hottest bachelors of the year. In July 2004, in a special survival issue, Esquire named him one of its “10 Tough Bastards.” In 2006 Men’s Journal called his Kilimanjaro expeditions one of its “Adventures of a Lifetime.” In that same year, Picture of the Week featured Wiese working in a high-altitude chamber as president of The Explorers Club. Wiese has also been profiled or appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker, National Geographic Adventure, Life magazine, Travel and Leisure, Wine Spectator, The New York Sun, BusinessWeek, USA Today, Sports Illustrated, and Newsday.

Keynote appearances[edit]

An accomplished keynote speaker, Wiese has been honored to present at the United Nations, Royal Geographical Society, Bohemian Grove, University of Miami School of Engineering, Congress of Argentina, Icelandic Whitehouse, World Adventure Travel Summit, Africa Foundation, Abercrombie and Kent's Friends of Conservation, Commonwealth North Symposium, and the Boy Scouts of America's National Jamboree.

In 2006 the American Museum of Natural History Expeditions named Wiese an Explorer in Residence. In 2004 at the invitation of Moroccan King Mohammed VI, he was the U.S. representative to the Moussem de Tan Tan, a gathering of 45,000 nomadic Arabs. At the 2005 Boy Scout National Jamboree, he addressed 90,000 people and a camp was named after him. He often gives keynote speeches for organizations including Cynopsis and The Africa Foundation.

Awards and recognition[edit]

  • 2004: Golden Halo Advertising Award for Best Environmental/Wildlife Campaign
  • 2006: Special Lifetime Achievement Award by Science Museum of Long Island
  • 2012 Cronkite Award for Excellence in Exploration and Journalism
  • Member, The Explorers Club, Royal Geographic Society and the American Meteorological Society

As a journalist, Wiese has received numerous honors, including a local New York Emmy Award, a Genesis Award, an Associated Press Folio Award and a Golden Halo Advertising Award for Best Environmental/Wildlife Campaign.


  1. ^ Wiese, Richard. "Born to Explore: How to Be a Backyard Adventurer". Retrieved 20 January 2013. 
  2. ^ "Explorer Richard Wiese Takes Kilimanjaro With the Epson P-7000 Multimedia Storage Viewer". Epson Newsroom. Epson America. Retrieved 22 January 2013. 
  3. ^ ""BioBlitz" Finds 800-Plus Species in New York Park". National Geographic. Retrieved 2 November 2013. 
  4. ^ "Born To Explore Nominated for Daytime Emmy". Rive Gauche Television. Rive Gauche Television. Retrieved 22 January 2013. 
  5. ^ Alberta, Travel. "Travel Alberta and Current Lifestyle Marketing Earn Prestigious SABRE Award for National US Broadcast Work". Travel Alberta Canada. Travel Alberta. Retrieved 15 January 2013. 

External links[edit]