Cliver Rioja, Peruvian Naturalist Guide, visited Dallas from his hometown of Iquitos, Peru, during the week of January 23 – 29, 2010.  Mr. Rioja’s work with renowned scientists inclusive of Bob Ballard from the JASON Project, Terry Erwin Smithsonian entomologist, Dr. Peter Raven from Missouri Botanical Garden, and National Geographic in support of research and conservation of the Amazon rain forest provided a rich mix of natural history experiences and knowledge. A passionate and dynamic expert naturalist, Cliver’s talk, “Living in the Amazon Basin Today: Stories and Slides,” inspired our global perspective and captivated our senses and was aimed to foster a greater understanding of the Amazonian region and local communities while drawing linkage to our own environments and communities of North Texas. While the Amazon Basin is under severe threat, with political, economic and environmental interests colliding daily, Mr. Rioja’s talk focused on what it means to live in that region today, offering captivating imagery and stories of his home in the Amazon Basin ending with a call to action for personal commitment for wise environmental choices.

During his time in Dallas, Mr. Rioja reached over 1600 people which followed a ten day visit to Las Vegas where he spoke to 2500 students.

Mr. Rioja is employed by Explorama, the owner of several Amazon River lodges, where he works as a naturalist and river guide. Special thanks goes to LAN Airlines and Holbrook Travel, Inc., who have joined together to bring naturalist Cliver Rioja from the Peruvian Amazon to the United States and to Roger and Anita Palmer of GISetc for organizing and supporting Cliver’s stay in Dallas. Herb Thompson, who is the co-coordinator of the Geographic Alliance in Nevada (GAIN), traveled with Cliver to Dallas to help and lend support throughout the week. Thank you Cliver for spending your vacation in Dallas and Las Vegas educate students about an important region of our planet!

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