Lizeyka Xilena Barra Polanco, joined ACEER in 2012 as a pre-professional intern with the “leaf pack” project. With her characteristic charismatic manner she worked guiding students in the field, and classifying and identifying samples of benthic macroinvertebrates in the laboratory. In 2013, Lizeyka continued her work as a field assistant on our water quality research project on the Puerto Maldonado-Cusco interoceanic highway. Thanks to her experience with ACEER, Lizeyka decided to specialize in macroinvertebrate ecology for her research thesis.
Lizeyka was hired by ACEER during 2015 as assistant coordinator of the educational project “leaf pack”, while she was also working on her research thesis. She graduated as a Forest and Environmental Engineer in 2016 from the Madre de Dios National University (UNMAD), evaluating and researching the water quality of nine ravines in Madre de Dios, using the leaf pack method. She is currently working independently and studying English; she plans to pursue a master degree in the near future.
Therany Gonzales Ojeda, first became an ACEER volunteer in 2005, working out of our Puerto Maldonado office. At the request of our program coordinator there, he joined the project “From School to the Garden”, supporting the content and activities in our medicinal plant gardens aimed at teaching local school children about the botanical biodiversity of the Amazon rainforest.
An already accomplished engineer from the region, Therany brought to ACEER an impressive record of field experience, including numerous research projects in the southern Peruvian Amazon. Therany’s work with us grew to include serving as a field guide for many of ACEER’s university outreach workshops and academic courses.
Seven years later, he was hired by ACEER to work as the lead coordinator of the “Leaf Pack” research project to assess the impact of the interoceanic highway on the aquatic biodiversity of adjacent watersheds. He was instrumental in its success, from planning and execution in the field, through to the presentation of results. Therany is now ACEER’s Scientific and Education Coordinator in Madre de Dios and has been part of ACEER’s family for over 11 years, continuing his professional growth with us.
This scholarship from Dr. James A. Duke, was created by the Board of Directors of the ACEER Foundation to honour this renowned Ethnobotanist and member of ACEER.
Dr. Duke, whose professional training was as a systematic botanist, was leading the service’s research at the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) as an expert in Economic Botany. In addition to his research at the USDA for more than 30 years, Dr. Duke has published more than 30 books, numerous articles and reviews, and remained active in his research on medicinal plants.
Dr. Duke was a catalyst and guiding figure of the award-winning gardens Ethnobotanical, workshops and ACEER programs. New commercially viable medicines were developed by researchers at ACEER gardens. In 2012, ACEER granted Dr. Duke with the Legacy Award, in recognition to his great contributions and achievements in research and conservation.
The ACEER Foundation has just celebrated its 25th anniversary as a dynamic force for rainforest conservation and looks forward to its next 25. The ACEER has two new and exciting initiatives: The Learning Hub and Conservation Café and the Global Conservation Leadership Institute. These initiatives will allow us to continue to grow and expand our efforts as an effective organization for Amazon conservation in these upcoming years.
The Learning Hub and Conservation Café will be a state of the art learning center. It will unite teachers, conservation professionals, and community leaders in an interactive meeting environment. The learning center will allow them access to innovative learning technologies, enhanced Internet, digital databases, computers, and much more. All of this will serve to create real world outcomes that measurably promote conservation and restoration in the Amazon.
Our second initiative, the Global Conservation Leadership Institute, will create a new cadre of leaders. It will focus on fostering leadership skills for emerging, top tier professionals, through immersive and experiential learning opportunities. It is designed to promote creative problem solving in truly transdisciplinary ways. The institute will provide access to, and direct interaction with, a world-class faculty, allowing participants to create lasting personal and professional relationships with peers from around the world. The Global Conservation Institute will encourage an entrepreneurial spirit and desire to improve people’s lives and protect the Amazon.
These exciting initiatives are the foundation of ACEER’s next 25 years of devotion to the conservation of the Amazon Rainforest. We are looking forward to them.
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The Amazon Center for Environmental Education and Research Foundation (ACEER), a US 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with offices in West Chester, PA, and Puerto Maldonado, Peru, is pleased to announce that Dr. Paul Morgan was unanimously elected President of ACEER at its December 16, 2016 annual board meeting. He succeeds Dr. Roger Mustalish, who will now serve ACEER as Chair of the Board of Directors. Dr. Morgan holds a B.A. from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and earned his Ph.D. from Columbia University. He is a Professor of Professional and Secondary Education at West Chester University of Pennsylvania, and the director of undergraduate and graduate certificate programs in Education for Sustainability. In addition, he served as West Chester University’s Sustainability Coordinator from 2011-2014 and continues to be a member of the University’s Sustainability Advisory Council.
Dr. Morgan had been ACEER’s Chair of the Board, its representative to the Lima and Paris United Nations Climate Change Meetings (COP20 & COP21), and a workshop and expedition leader to the Amazon. In July, Dr. Morgan headed a delegation from Dubai, UAE, studying climate change impacts in Peru. His vision created ACEER’s Emerging Leaders in Sustainability Institute, and forged strategies to grow ACEER’s flagship program, the AMIGOS Partnership for Education.
As President, Dr. Morgan will be the CEO of the organization, which has been a dynamic force for rainforest conservation for 25 years, having touched the lives of more than 1 million individuals worldwide. He will lead the implementation of two new ACEER strategic initiatives: a Global Leadership Institute built on the success of the Emerging Leaders in Sustainability Institute, and creation of a state of the art conservation education “Hub” in Puerto Maldonado, Peru. The “Hub” will offer innovative, experiential learning programming, networking capabilities, and empowerment opportunities to students, scientists, teachers, and community leaders with a goal of developing local and global environmental leaders who work to conserve and restore functioning landscapes in the Amazon. Learn more about ACEER at www.aceer.org.
October 10 marked the opening of a gallery exhibit for a cultural mapping project of the Ese’Eja at the University of Delaware. In his opening remarks, Dr. Paul Morgan, chair of the board of ACEER, posed an unexpected question to his audience; is the future envisioned by the TV show “The Jetsons” a future that we actually want?
So does living in a world that looks something like the one portrayed in “The Jetsons” sound like an appealing idea to you? A skypad apartment? Robot housekeeper? Three-day workweek? What could be better? Dr. Morgan, however, sees things a little differently. In fact, he looks towards indigenous groups like the Ese’Eja of Southeastern Peru for a more ideal portrait of Continue reading →
One of the many things that The ACEER Foundation does is provide field-based, experiential learning programs for individuals and groups from around the world. From May 9-20 of 2016, representatives from the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) had the unique opportunity to participate in one such learning program. After reaching out to ACEER, DEWA was able to customize its own workshop experience in Peru with the intended goals of seeing first hand the effects of climate change and achieving an understanding of some of the different perspectives on and methods of combatting it.
Dr. Paul Morgan, professor at West Chester University and chair of the board of the ACEER Foundation, was able to accompany and lead the DEWA group on their trip. He witnessed the shift in perspective that occurred for the group when the itinerary moved on from the heady indoor PowerPoint presentations and sharing of ideas through conversation and lecture, to the more field based, experiential portion of the trip. Continue reading →
We know that rainforest destruction and climate change are leading to mass extinctions of plants and animals. But did you know that cultural extinction is occurring as well? Native Amazonian peoples are struggling for their very existence. ACEER is collaborating with the National Geographic Society and the University of Delaware to help the Ese Eja people of Peru preserve their culture. Watch this video to see how. Continue reading →
Victor Zambrano has dedicated his life to the restoration of natural forests in the Madre de Dios region of Peru’s southeastern Amazon, fostering ecologically stable and socioeconomically productive landscapes.
Born in Madre de Dios, Zambrano learned the customs of the local people at an early age. After leaving for high school in Lima and a subsequent 24-year military career, Zambrano retired and returned to his birthplace, settling along the Tambopata River in a region scientists consider to be the global epicenter of biodiversity. Sadly, he found the area under significant pressure from illegal gold mining; construction of the Amazon’s first transcontinental highway; oil and gas exploration; illegal timber harvesting; and human migration. Continue reading →