ACA’s experienced staff shares innovative conservation tools and practices with local organizations and communities. Our field stations, CICRA and Wayqecha, have become centers for educational trips by local schoolchildren as well as leading training sites for local and international university groups. Both offer programs ranging from introductory courses on Amazonia to plant identification and ornithology.
This focus on training reflects our conviction that saving the greatest forests on Earth requires supercharging a new generation of South American scientists and conservationists.
The Wayqecha Research Center hosts environmental education and training courses for local students. On the Research Center grounds is an interpretive trail with signs in English, Spanish, and Quechua explaining the origin and importance of cloud forests, cloud forest distribution worldwide and within Peru, information on local wildlife, and more. Additionally there is an interpretive guide booklet and workbook for students to use on the trail. In 2009 a total of 237 students had the opportunity to visit Wayqecha. The video below shows our work with local students at the Wayqecha Cloud Forest Research Center.
Other educational activities at Wayqecha include:
ACA and ACCA operate three educational programs at Los Amigos. At the main Los Amigos Conservation Concession (LACC) guard post at the mouth of the Los Amigos River, our park guards operate an 800-sq. ft. interpretative center filled with information panels, exhibits, and natural history collections designed to highlight the value of the LACC. The center has been visited by several hundred schoolchildren since 2004. Beginning in 2005 our weekly “Sábado Científico” (Science Saturday) has brought scientists at the Los Amigos Biological Station together with schoolchildren from the nearby town of Boca Amigos for an educational exchange. The goal is for the scientists to share their excitement about doing science in the Amazon and for the children to share their experiences growing up in the Amazon.
Since 2003, ACA and ACCA's grants program has awarded over 120 field biologists (Peruvian college students doing undergraduate thesis work, graduate students working towards a master's or doctoral degree, and post-doctoral researchers) with grants totaling more than half a million dollars. This program is giving dozens of young scientists muddy-boots experience in Amazonian wilderness and helping train a whole new generation of Amazonian conservationists.
ACA has partnered with the ACEER Foundation, a leader in field-based experiential learning, to offer academic workshops at our field stations in Peru. The ACEER Foundation, in cooperation with West Chester University of Pennsylvania, offers a comprehensive series of academic courses and continuing education workshops in a variety of disciplines related to the neotropics. Universities may also reserve a date, and conduct the field experience with their own Faculty Leader, and award their own credits. The ACEER can provide experienced Guest Faculty to accompany any university group, and will work with you to design an experience that best meets your academic needs.
For information about courses at ACA’s Field Stations, please visit ACEER.
Students participating in “Science Saturday” at CICRA learn about Brazil nuts. Photo: Raechel Running
Students participating in an educational field trip to Wayqecha. Photo: Ronald Catpo
Students participating in an educational field trip to Wayqecha. Photo: Megan MacDowell
Cover of the guidebook for teachers and environmental education guides to use during school field trips to Wayqecha.
Peruvian PhD candidate Roxana Arauco teaching a local schoolgirl about ants during a "Science Saturday" at CICRA. Photo by Nigel Pitman
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