Jaime Incer, Nicaragua
Photograph by Becky Hale
Dr. Jaime Incer is regarded by many as the founder and leading figure of conservation efforts in Nicaragua. Over a distinguished career in academia and government and nongovernmental organizations, Incer has developed curricula and schools in the natural sciences, established national parks and other protected areas, and inspired a new generation of conservationists and life scientists in Nicaragua and throughout Central America.
When Incer completed his education in 1963, there were few scientists and little scientific infrastructure in Nicaragua. As a new member of the faculty at Universidad Nacional Autónoma, he responded to this paucity of scientists by developing a curriculum in ecology and natural history and teaching the first courses to university students. In the 1970s, he founded his country’s first School of Natural Resources at Universidad Centroamericana, where he was dean of the faculty. Incer helped establish Nicaragua’s first national park, Parque Nacional Volcán Masaya, in 1975. Opened to the public in 1979, the park measures 21 square miles and includes the best-preserved dry forest in the country, as well as other habitats on lava flows of different ages. As minister of the environment and natural resources under President Violeta Chamorro from 1990 to 1994, Incer established two biosphere reserves, helped conceptualize and implement the Mesoamerican biological corridor, and worked to set up a network of preserves that now protects about 18 percent of Nicaragua’s territory.
In recent years Dr. Incer has helped found nongovernmental organizations to manage two of Nicaragua’s important protected areas. The Fundación Nicaragüense para la Conservación de la Naturaleza is dedicated to the management and protection of Volcán Mombacho, and the Fundación Nicaragüense para el Desarrollo Sostenible is responsible for Cerro Musún. The management strategies for both reserves have been innovative and remarkably successful and are considered models of sustainable conservation.
Learn more to recognize and celebrate unsung heroes working in the field. Awardees have demonstrated outstanding leadership in managing and protecting the natural resources in his or her country and region. They are each inspirational conservation advocates, who serve as role models and mentors.
Latest Explorer News
- Together Panthers and Ranchers can Keep Florida Wild
- Dive into an “Underwater Kaleidoscope” of Unbelievable Beauty
- ‘The Remotest Island,’ the Warmest Welcome!
- A Good Time for Inspiration – 2017 Benchley Winners Announced
- New Excavation Season Begins at Unusual Egyptian/Nubian Site
- This Is Where the Key to Healthy Honeybees May Be Found
- Putting D.C.’s Wastewater Treatment to the Microplastics Test
- Two Days at the Weeks Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve
- Camera-Trap Image of Florida Panther Brings New Hope to Conservationists
- Short Film Showcase: Top Ten Picks for 2016
Video: Exploration Without Limits
Our Explorers in Action
Meet female explorers who have pushed the limits in adventure, science, and more.