ACEER History

ACEER’s evolution is attributed to the learning experiences and efforts of passionate individuals who strive to educate others on the importance of the Peruvian Rainforest. It is through these ambitious and dedicated volunteers that ACEER has been able to connect with millions of people through educational workshops, community building programs in the Peruvian Amazon, and cooperation with other organizations that work towards a common goal of learning in the global community. The foundation has shifted and transformed over the years in order to meet the growing needs of our mission to promote conservation of the Peruvian Amazon.


ACEER wins Peru’s National Award of Environmental Citizenship

ACEER receives Peru’s National Award of Environmental Citizenship for its environmental education programs promoting conservation of the Amazon Rainforest. In announcing this prestigious award, Peru’s Minister of Environment,

Manuel Pulgar Vidal, specifically cited ACEER’s Puppet House, a traveling puppet show for rural Amazonian elementary school children. ACEER was selected for this award following a national competition with over 150 organizations vying for the award. Last year, ACEER was a finalist, showcasing its teacher training program using a unique “leaf pack” sampling device to monitor aquatic biodiversity. Such a tremendous honor.

Read the Press Release regarding this award.


ACEER receives a major grant from the Blue Moon Fund to conduct an ecosystem assessment along the Transoceanic Highway in Peru. Alex Moen, Vice President at National Geographic, joins ACEER Board of Directors. ACEER signs two major conservation collaborations with Golden Valley Farms Coffee Roasters of West Chester, PA, and Blue Sky Design Company of Chester, MD, in support of sustainable development grants and conservation education programming through ACEER’s AMIGOS Partnership for Education.


Supplemental funding from National Geographic expands the Leaf Pack Program in Puerto Maldonado, Pucallpa, and Iquitos, Peru. Mary Ann Robinson becomes Director of US Operationa and Carmen Chavez the Director of Peru Programs.


Olivia Newton-John performs the world premier of her award winning album Grace and Gratitude at West Chester University, PA, to support ACEER. ACEER also receives a Conservation Trust Grant from the National Geographic Society to assess aquatic biodiversity in the Amazon using a unique “leaf pack” sampling tool, in association with the Stroud Water Research Center, PA.


Thanks to a donation from the Alcan company and ACEER’s partnership with the Amazon Conservation Association, the first non-tree-attached canopy walkway is completed in the Andean Cloud Forest at the Wayqecha Research Station.


Program Coordinator Mary Ann Robinson and University Outreach Coordinator Carmen Chavez join ACEER. A benefit concert is performed by Olivia Newton-John Easterling in Washington D.C. to help ACEER fund projects in the Amazon. Olivia and her husband John Easterling of the Amazon Herb Company join ACEER as members of its Board of Directors.


Marguerite Gould becomes the new Director of Operations for ACEER. With funding from the National Geographic Society, ACEER partners with the Amazon Conservation Association to establish a new site just 5-6 hours from Puerto Muldonado. This location at Los Amigos allows ACEER to work closely with the CICRA research center and expands the foundation’s ability to coordinate educational programs.


ACEER’s U.S. headquarters moves to West Chester University of Pennsylvania.


ACEER partners with Inkaterra in Puerto Muldonado to create a new site called ATI funded in part by the National Geographic Society. This presents an incredible educational oppurtunity due to Puerto Maldonado’s incredible biodiversity.


The Adopt-A-School program is expanded and becomes ¡Amigos!, which continues to help teachers and students in the Peruvian Amazon. U.S. partners help to provide materials, curriculum, and education about conservation to Peruvian school communities. To date the program has reached over 20,000 children and 1,200 teachers in Peru.

The foundation helps to educate thousands of children in South America, Europe, and the U.S. when the JASON Foundation broadcasts 55 episodes at ACEER site in the Peruvian Amazon covering topics such as water conservation and the indigenous population.

ACEER Foundation becomes the only non-profit organization to receive direct support from the National Geographic Society.


ACEER names the Ethnobotanical Research Project in Dr.Jim Duke’s honor. Dr. Duke is an important figure in the development of the first garden ReNuPeRu at Napo, along with the gardens at Sucusari Village and Cahuide Village, both in northeastern Peru.


Dr. Roger Mustalish and his team of researchers complete a database that uses GIS to map out 4,700 square miles of Peruvian Rainforest. This database is an important educational tool, helping with sustainable development projects for local communities and environmental education for Peruvian teachers and students. Dr. Mustalish is chosen as the next President of ACEER.


A Canopy Walkway is built according to Dr. Illar Mull’s instructions linking from tree to tree that takes visitors through the untouched forest canopy and allows for a permanent place for researchers to study.


ACEER is formed by Richard Ryel of the successful international tour company International Expeditions. With the help of Peter Jenson of Explorama, he establishes the U.S. offices in Birmingham, AL and ACEER site Explornapo in Peru. Ryel takes on the role of President on the Board of Directors. ACEER’s first program Adopt-A-School is established to help supply the school children and teachers in the Peruvian Amazon with important materials needed in classrooms.