Latest News

First Annual ACEER Legacy Award Presented to "Amazon John" and Olivia Newton-John Easterling


(October 16, 2012, Park City, Utah) The ACEER Foundation (Amazon Center for Environmental Education and Research) announced today that “Amazon John” Easterling and his wife, Olivia Newton-John Easterling, were chosen to receive the First Annual 2012 ACEER Legacy Award for their dedicated lifework and ongoing financial support to preserve the Amazon Rainforest.


Legacy Award

This prestigious award was presented to the Easterlings on October 12th during the 2012 TriVita, Inc. “Wellness Celebration Summit” held in Park City, Utah.

Dr. Roger W. Mustalish,  “Amazon John”  Easterling,

Olivia Newton- John Easterling and Michael R. Ellison


Founded in 1991, the ACEER Foundation has been a dynamic force for the preservation and sustainability of the Amazon Rainforest.  Over $10.5 million dollars have been invested by the ACEER Foundation in experiential conservation education in the Amazon.  “What ACEER does best is to provide a transforming experiential learning opportunity in the Amazon to a local and global audience in the cause of preserving the Rainforest” says Dr. Mustalish, who has been the President of the ACEER Foundation for 16 years.  “The Annual ACEER Legacy Award is in recognition of a lifetime commitment to the conservation of the Amazon Rainforest. I am extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to personally work with John and Olivia over the past five years to advance the scope and reach of the ACEER Foundation.  Their impact on the preservation the Rainforest is beyond measure and it was an honor to present them with this well-deserved award.”


Having spent the past 22 years in the Rainforest working directly with the indigenous people of the Amazon, John Easterling is a true visionary with passion driven by his life purpose.  “Olivia and I are extremely grateful for the opportunity to serve with Dr. Mustalish and the ACEER Foundation to help make a difference in the long-term future of the Rainforest.  We are more committed than ever before to continue our conservation efforts and support for indigenous people of the Amazon” says Easterling. “It is a great honor for us to be the first recipients of the ACEER Legacy Award and we proudly accept this award with gratitude.” 

The ACEER Foundation will continue its quest to create awareness and synergy for the conservation of the Amazon Rainforest through financial support from major strategic corporate partners including The National Geographic Society and TriVita, Inc. 


TriVita’s CEO and Founder, Michael R. Ellison has committed significant financial and human resources to support the ACEER Foundation and will personally work directly with Dr. Mustalish and the Easterlings to bring awareness to the sustainability of the Amazon by leveraging the power of media through TriVita’s International media reach.  “The living Amazon Rain Forest serves as ‘the lungs of our planet’ and is the most biologically diverse ecosystem on earth.” says Ellison. “With 33% of all species and the highest diversity of primates, birds and trees in the world, we must do everything we can to sustain the Rainforest and ensure its future.  Amazon botanicals hold the biological secrets to help bring wellness to the world.” 



ACEER and UNAMAD (National University of Madre de Dios) Sign a 3-Year Inter-Institutional Agreement


The ACEER Foundation is pleased to announce a special alliance with the National University of Madre de Dios, Peru, (UNAMAD). The new three year inter-institutional agreement is very important to the next phase of our work in the Madre de Dios region, the epicenter of biodiversity on the planet. Through this agreement, ACEER will host UNAMAD student interns to work with ACEER’s Coordinator of Field Operations, Therany Gonzalez, on our climate, reforestation, and water quali...
ty projects within the region. Collaborative research and educational programming will also be explored with UNAMAD faculty. The next component of our ongoing research project to assess the impacts of the Transoceanic Highway on adjacent watersheds calls for capacity building efforts with local universities and villages, and engaging faculty and students in using the leaf pack sampling tool in another 20 watersheds to further expand the sampling network. UNAMAD will be instrumental in assisting us with this key phase of the program.

The signing ceremony, pictured below, involved members from both organizations. In attendance were the Vice President of UNAMAD, the Dean of Forest Engineering, a legal representative, and two faculty members. ACEER was represented by Carmen Chavez, Director of Peru Programs, and Therany Gonzalez.

Following the ceremony, ACEER donated to UNAMAD a basic meteorological station for student use which will be installed on campus in the coming weeks. The new station will expand our existing climate monitoring network created through our collaboration with GLOBE ( Data from this station will be integrated with those from other GLOBE meteorological stations installed by ACEER in the region and uploaded onto ACEER’s FieldScope data base in association with the National Geographic Society.

The ACEER welcomes this new collaboration with UNAMAD, and thanks them, Carmen Chavez and Therany Gonzalez for their efforts to make this possible.


Signing Agreement UNAMAD Agreement


ACEER Welcomes Kim Henderson


The ACEER Foundation is thankful to feature Kim Henderson as a contributing writer for our website and social media pages.

Kim Henderson grew up in the rural Santa Monica Mountains of California where she developed a deep love of nature. As both a member of The Green Patriot Working Group and managing editor of Freedom Press, publisher of The Doctors' Prescription for Healthy Living magazine and books on natural health and the environ­ment, she is intimately involved in environmental, health and conservation issues. She resides in Thousand Oaks, California with her 9-year-old daughter and enjoys hiking in the local mountains several times a week.

This month she contributes the following... another wonderful reminder why we need to protect the Amazon:


Kim Henderson



Field Team Begins Transoceanic Highway Ecosystem Study

An ACEER field team, lead by Dr. Bern Sweeney of the Stroud Water Research Center, is now in Peru to begin a comprehensive assessment of ecosystem health in a corrider adjacent to the new Transoceanic Highway. Funded by the Blue Moon Fund, this project will capture a once in a life time snapshot of aquatic biodiversity permitting ACEER to establish a baseline for ecosystem health and monitor over time the impacts of the highway on adjacent watersheds. The project employs a unique 'leaf pack' sampling tool...a first in South America. Follow the project's progress on Facebook and Twitter.

Amazon Forest Coffee Now Available

100% Peruvian, 100% organic, 100% shade grown, fair traded, and certified by the Smithsonian as bird friendly, proceeds from the sale of Amazon Forest coffee provides critical funds for sustainability grants for the La Florida coffee farmer cooperative in Peru and supports conservation education through our AMIGOS Partnership for Education. Click here for ordering information.

Blue Sky Design Company Partners with ACEER to Help the Shipibo People

The Shipibo people of Amazonia have a rich tradition of jewelry, ceramics and textiles. Under a special agreement with Blue Sky Design Company, you can now purchase one of a kind Shipibo jewelry. Each piece is handcrafted in the Shipibo tradition. Proceeds support conservation education programs in the Pucallpa region of the Peruvian Amazon. Click here to learn more.