CECCOT Staff

  Ruth Torres &   Kenny Herrera      Local Owners of Hacienda Herrera -    Resident Coordinators and Administrators    Ruth Torres and her husband Kenny Herrera began working as volunteer students in  CECCOT 's training program in  2011  and have continued to work with us and become our important partners. Thanks to their hard work and collaboration, we were able to establish an alliance with Hacienda Herrera to work on our shared objectives and interests in research, conservation, education, and sustainability.    Ruth Torres  has a B.S. and a M.S. degree in ecotourism from the National University of the Peruvian Amazon and the National Agrarian University La Molina, respectively. She has carried out different projects related to  the environment and worked with ecotourism organizations in Madre de Dios. Ruth prefers research projects with applications in social/community projects, due to her interest in combining the use of natural resources, conservation and education. Ruth is our resident coordinator and administrator and she is in charge of supporting the organization of ecotourism, research and volunteer programs.    Kenny Herrera  was born in Madre de Dios and grew up in direct contact with the forest and the river. This fostered his love of nature conservation and he earned a B.S. degree in ecotourism from the National University of the Peruvian Amazon. He has more than 10 years of experience in ecotourism, working as an instructor of adventure activities.  His favorite activities are tree climbing, kayaking and cycling. He has a great knowledge of the forest and natural history that he uses to develop programs of nature and adventure experiences. Kenny is also a resident administrator, along with his wife Ruth. In particular, he coordinates the logistics of the collaborative programs. He likes to spend most of his free time with his son  Tiago !

Ruth Torres & Kenny Herrera

Local Owners of Hacienda Herrera -Resident Coordinators and Administrators

Ruth Torres and her husband Kenny Herrera began working as volunteer students in CECCOT's training program in 2011 and have continued to work with us and become our important partners. Thanks to their hard work and collaboration, we were able to establish an alliance with Hacienda Herrera to work on our shared objectives and interests in research, conservation, education, and sustainability.


Ruth Torres has a B.S. and a M.S. degree in ecotourism from the National University of the Peruvian Amazon and the National Agrarian University La Molina, respectively. She has carried out different projects related to  the environment and worked with ecotourism organizations in Madre de Dios. Ruth prefers research projects with applications in social/community projects, due to her interest in combining the use of natural resources, conservation and education. Ruth is our resident coordinator and administrator and she is in charge of supporting the organization of ecotourism, research and volunteer programs.


Kenny Herrera was born in Madre de Dios and grew up in direct contact with the forest and the river. This fostered his love of nature conservation and he earned a B.S. degree in ecotourism from the National University of the Peruvian Amazon. He has more than 10 years of experience in ecotourism, working as an instructor of adventure activities.  His favorite activities are tree climbing, kayaking and cycling. He has a great knowledge of the forest and natural history that he uses to develop programs of nature and adventure experiences. Kenny is also a resident administrator, along with his wife Ruth. In particular, he coordinates the logistics of the collaborative programs. He likes to spend most of his free time with his son Tiago!

  Ursula Valdez     Co-founder, Director of Operations,     Research Ornithologist, Expedition Leader    Dr. Ursula Valdez is a tropical ornithologist, ecologist, and conservationist. Born and raised in Peru, she obtained biology and ecology degrees in Peru and the United States. She has worked as a field researcher and field instructor in Peru, Costa Rica, Panama, Ecuador, Spain and the United States. She is a founding member and director of  CECCOT  and  Friends of CECCOT.  Both organizations promote scientific research and conservation in the Amazon rainforest of Southeastern Peru. She has extensive experience banding and handling birds, and has organized more than 20 field research programs. Ursula teaches environmental science, ecology and natural history, conservation and sustainability at the University of Washington Bothell and cherishes returning to Peru each year to do research and education programs.  CECCOT  is the very heart of her personal and professional aspirations. 

Ursula Valdez

Co-founder, Director of Operations, Research Ornithologist, Expedition Leader

Dr. Ursula Valdez is a tropical ornithologist, ecologist, and conservationist. Born and raised in Peru, she obtained biology and ecology degrees in Peru and the United States. She has worked as a field researcher and field instructor in Peru, Costa Rica, Panama, Ecuador, Spain and the United States. She is a founding member and director of CECCOT and Friends of CECCOT. Both organizations promote scientific research and conservation in the Amazon rainforest of Southeastern Peru. She has extensive experience banding and handling birds, and has organized more than 20 field research programs. Ursula teaches environmental science, ecology and natural history, conservation and sustainability at the University of Washington Bothell and cherishes returning to Peru each year to do research and education programs. CECCOT is the very heart of her personal and professional aspirations. 


  Stacey Astacianna Hatcher     Research Ornithologist, Director of Programming & Media,     Expedition Leader    Astacianna (Stacey) Hatcher is a field ornithologist and conservation biologist who has spent most of her career in Latin America. She has worked in lowland forests of Belize, mid-elevation rainforests of Nicaragua, and cloud forests of Ecuador. She has also worked on wildlife conservation projects in the United States, Puerto Rico and Kenya. Her primary field research skill is point counts, surveying bird populations by ear. She has worked for U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, U.S. Geological Survey, Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center, NC Museum of Natural Sciences, and several universities and nonprofits. She has experience teaching ecology and environmental science and is most passionate about projects that aim to conserve biodiversity while also benefiting local communities. Astacianna joined  CECCOT  during a bird banding expedition in 2009 and has become a Programs Director, Expedition Leader and Online Media Director for  CECCOT. 

Stacey Astacianna Hatcher

Research Ornithologist, Director of Programming & Media, Expedition Leader

Astacianna (Stacey) Hatcher is a field ornithologist and conservation biologist who has spent most of her career in Latin America. She has worked in lowland forests of Belize, mid-elevation rainforests of Nicaragua, and cloud forests of Ecuador. She has also worked on wildlife conservation projects in the United States, Puerto Rico and Kenya. Her primary field research skill is point counts, surveying bird populations by ear. She has worked for U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, U.S. Geological Survey, Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center, NC Museum of Natural Sciences, and several universities and nonprofits. She has experience teaching ecology and environmental science and is most passionate about projects that aim to conserve biodiversity while also benefiting local communities. Astacianna joined CECCOT during a bird banding expedition in 2009 and has become a Programs Director, Expedition Leader and Online Media Director for CECCOT. 


  Daniel Froehlich     Co-founder, Bird Bander, Expedition Leader      Daniel Froehlich, raised in both Germany and the United States, is an ornithologist trained as a biologist at Carlton College and the University of Washington. He is a master bander and a world expert on bird molt. He leads workshops, training hundreds of people in field research and bird banding methods. He was a program coordinator for the Institute for Bird Populations’ Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship Program (MAPS) and director for the Institute’s Bander Training Program. Daniel has worked in Peru, Belize, the United States, Canada and many other places in the world. He lives in Seattle, and continues to  conduct bird research, workshops and bird tours around the world. Daniel is also a co-founder of a  CECCOT , and   his outstanding skills for bird banding have proven to be an asset for bird research and conservation efforts for our organization. 

Daniel Froehlich

Co-founder, Bird Bander, Expedition Leader  

Daniel Froehlich, raised in both Germany and the United States, is an ornithologist trained as a biologist at Carlton College and the University of Washington. He is a master bander and a world expert on bird molt. He leads workshops, training hundreds of people in field research and bird banding methods. He was a program coordinator for the Institute for Bird Populations’ Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship Program (MAPS) and director for the Institute’s Bander Training Program. Daniel has worked in Peru, Belize, the United States, Canada and many other places in the world. He lives in Seattle, and continues to  conduct bird research, workshops and bird tours around the world. Daniel is also a co-founder of a CECCOT, and his outstanding skills for bird banding have proven to be an asset for bird research and conservation efforts for our organization. 



 Expedition Associates

  Leonard Beck     Nature/Wildlife Photographer, Educator    Leonard Beck is a Cincinnati, USA based nature/wildlife photographer and educator. He holds a B.S. in Biological Sciences and an M.A. in Education from the University of Kentucky. He also attended Miami (Ohio) University where he obtained an M.A. in Zoology. He has worked as an educator for 13 years at the high school and college level and received the Outstanding Biology Teacher Award from the National Association of Biology Teachers in 2014. Leonard has traveled extensively throughout the world, including field courses in Malaysian Borneo, Mexico, and Peru and has made multiple trips to the Amazon region with  CECCOT.  He now works as a professional photographer, focusing on natural landscapes and wildlife. One of his primary passions is using photography to further conservation and education objectives in the regions he works.  CECCOT  is happy to welcome Leonard as a leader of our nature/wildlife photography programs! 

Leonard Beck

Nature/Wildlife Photographer, Educator

Leonard Beck is a Cincinnati, USA based nature/wildlife photographer and educator. He holds a B.S. in Biological Sciences and an M.A. in Education from the University of Kentucky. He also attended Miami (Ohio) University where he obtained an M.A. in Zoology. He has worked as an educator for 13 years at the high school and college level and received the Outstanding Biology Teacher Award from the National Association of Biology Teachers in 2014. Leonard has traveled extensively throughout the world, including field courses in Malaysian Borneo, Mexico, and Peru and has made multiple trips to the Amazon region with CECCOT. He now works as a professional photographer, focusing on natural landscapes and wildlife. One of his primary passions is using photography to further conservation and education objectives in the regions he works. CECCOT is happy to welcome Leonard as a leader of our nature/wildlife photography programs!