Conservation Learning Web

The ACEER Conservation Learning Web builds upon the 25+ years of experience and success of our organization in Peru. It integrates experiential school-based environmental education programs and field-based teacher training with out-of-school programs, higher education, sustainable businesses, families, and local and global conservation NGOs.

From Intern to Thesis Researcher to a Graduated Engineer!

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 Xilena Barra Polanco

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.

From Volunteer to ACEER Staff

Therany Gonzales Ojeda
Therany Gonzales Ojeda

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.

Ethnobotanical Studies Scholarship: James A. Duke

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.

Beca de Estudios Etnobotánicos en Español

Ethnobotanical Studies Scholarship

ACEER’s Next 25

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.

Help us to make these initiatives a reality by
making a donation via check or PayPal here.

Preserving More than Forest

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?

TheJetsonsParkingSo 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 “Preserving More than Forest”

Field report: University of Delaware/ACEER project to preserve the culture of the Ese’ Eja in the Peruvian Amazon

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 “Field report: University of Delaware/ACEER project to preserve the culture of the Ese’ Eja in the Peruvian Amazon”

Medicinal Plant Exhibit Wins Three Awards at the Philadelphia Flower Show

Philadelphia flower show 1
UD’s exhibit at the 2015 Philadelphia Flower Show offers a lesson on the value of abundant plant life as found in the Amazon rainforest.

…continued from Part One on the UD’s 2015 Philadelphia Flower Show exhibit featuring plants from the Amazon

The University of Delaware’s “Forest to Pharmacy” exhibit, conceived and designed in conjunction with the ACEER, has won three awards at the 2015 Philadelphia Flower Show: a Silver Medal in the Education class; a Special Achievement award from the Garden Club Federation of Pennsylvania; and the Herb Society of America Award. The flower show will run Feb. 28 through March 8 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. Continue reading “Medicinal Plant Exhibit Wins Three Awards at the Philadelphia Flower Show”

Forest to Pharmacy

UD’s exhibit at the 2015 Philadelphia Flower Show will offer a lesson on the value of abundant plant life as found in the Amazon rainforest.

UD’s 2015 Philadelphia Flower Show exhibit to feature plants from the Amazon

The University of Delaware exhibit at this year’s Philadelphia Flower Show will provide visitors a lesson in the inherent value of abundant plant life, with a focus on useful, edible and therapeutic plants found in the Amazon rainforest.

The exhibit, which has been prepared by students and faculty members in the Continue reading “Forest to Pharmacy”

James Duke Ethnobotanical Fellowship Awarded

ACEER is pleased to announce the recipients of the Dr. James A. Duke Ethnotanical Fellowship.

Roxana Yanina Casteñeda Sifuentes, Peru, in support of her project: Ethnobotany of Fabacae in Angaraes, Huancavelica, Peru

Laura Dev, United States, in support of her project: How does environmental change affect the learning of ethnobotanical knowledge among Shipibo healers in the Peruvian Amazon?: Creating an eco-cultural archive of traditional seeds, songs and stories.

ACEER thanks all those who submitted applications. Roxana and Laura will each Continue reading “James Duke Ethnobotanical Fellowship Awarded”