About Us

About Upper Amazon Conservancy

UAC’s founder Chris Fagan became committed to protecting the Alto Purús region in 2002 when he spent a month with local communities studying their land use strategies. Concerned with the human and ecological impacts of rampant illegal mahogany logging, he returned in subsequent years to document and raise awareness to the logging and to develop a regional conservation strategy. In 2006, he founded UAC as the only NGO focused specifically on protecting the cultures and forests of the remote watersheds around the Alto Purús National Park. In 2011, he founded the Peruvian NGO, ProPurús, which now employs a dozen Peruvians.

Our success is directly related to the trust-based relationships we have with local people, developed over the past 25 years when members of our staff first began working in the region. Local people are the key participants in all of our activities, as we believe that the future of this remarkable region ultimately depends on their success as protectors and stewards. We employ members of our partner communities, partly to provide them with valuable experiences and skills needed to become future leaders for their tribes. 


Chris Fagan, UAC Executive Director

Chris has over fifteen years of experience developing and directing conservation projects in Latin America. Prior to creating UAC in 2010, Chris worked as director of Duke University’s ParksWatch program and as Peru director for Round River Conservation Studies. Chris holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Middlebury College and a Masters in Environmental Management from Duke University. When not in Peru, he lives in Jackson, Wyoming.

William Villacorta, Field Coordinator

William was born in the jungle city of Pucallpa and attended the Universidad Nacional de Pucallpa where we studied environmental sciences. William spent four years in charge of our field office in the Yurua region, leading various community projects with the local Amahuaca, Ashéninka, Asháninka and Yaminahua communities. He has extensive experience traveling throughout the headwaters region in southern Peru and Acre, Brazil and is currently coordinating various fieldwork in the Yurua, Purús and Urubamba rivers.

Jason Houston, Communications

Jason’s photography and filmmaking explores how we live on the planet and with each other, looking at issues of the environment through the lens of community, culture, and the human experience. He first worked with Chris when they collaborated on a feature story for Science Magazine in 2015 and has since returned to southeastern Peru with Upper Amazon Conservancy a half dozen times times helping to communicate about the issues and their work.

Rick Tingey, GIS and Spatial Analyst

Rick applies his technical background in geography to provide geospatial data management, analysis, and cartographic products that inform land and marine spatial planning projects. His technical services aim to promote collaboration between project partners including domestic and international conservation organizations, US and Canadian First Nation communities and other government agencies.

David S. Salisbury, Board Member

David is an assistant professor of geography, environmental studies, and international studies in the Department of Geography and the Environment at the University of Richmond. Since 2000 he has conducted applied research in the Amazon borderlands shared by Brazil and Peru. His publications focus on the socio-environmental impacts of logging, changing livelihood strategies, military settlement projects, drug production, and boundary formation in the Amazon. Dr. Salisbury is the recipient of a 2010 Fulbright fellowship in Peru, a 2007 Honorary Professorship at the National University of Ucayali, and the University of Richmond’s 2009-10 International Education Award.

David Brewster, Board Member

David is Co-Founder of EnerNOC, Inc. (NASDAQ:ENOC), a leading provider of energy management applications and services for commercial, institutional, and industrial customers, as well as electric power grid operators and utilities. Prior to EnerNOC, David worked at Beacon Power Corporation (NASDAQ: BCON), a developer of flywheel-based energy storage solutions for grid-scale frequency regulation services and other applications. David also held positions at Winslow Management Company, an environmentally-focused investment management firm, and SolarBank, an innovative global capital fund for solar energy systems. David also currently serves on the boards of EnergyHub and Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment. He holds a Bachelor of Arts with High Honors from Wesleyan University, a Master of Environmental Management from Duke University, and a Master of Business Administration from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth.

Pic Walker, Board Member

Pic is an entrepreneur and former executive director of the Alliance for Climate Change (ACE). Previously, Pic worked at Blu Skye, a strategic consulting firm which develops sustainable business strategies for Fortune 500 clients, and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation where he led research and development efforts for the Environment team. During his tenure at Moore Foundation, he co-developed the Wild Salmon Ecosystem Initiative, a $200+ million effort to improve the long-term sustainability of wild Pacific Salmon. Pic has also worked with several non-profit organizations, including Rainforest Action Network. Pic holds a B.A. from Middlebury College and an M.B.A. in sustainable enterprise from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He was born and raised in New England, and now raises his three kids – Zelle, Kacy, and Mac – in Northern California with his wife Heather.

Daniel Abramson, Board Member

Dan is the Senior Vice President of Curriculum and Instruction at Curriculum Associates. He is passionate about supporting teachers and helping them identify strategies, tools, and practices to support all students regardless of cognitive, physical, or cultural differences. Prior to Curriculum Associates he was the Vice President of Product Development at Edgenuity, and previous work experience includes teaching Middle School Humanities in Poughkeepsie New York; leading the development of video-based online professional development courses for teachers in New York City; leading backcountry trips with at-risk youth, and building sea kayaks in the Pacific Northwest. Dan holds an M. Ed. from Western Washington University and a Bachelors of Arts in History from Denison University. He lives with his wife and two teen-aged children in New Paltz, New York.


Contact UAC


We are always looking for the right people to join our team, or to host graduate and postgraduate researchers interested in the fields of ecology, indigenous protected area management, community conservation, sustainable forestry and related topics. For more information please send a brief cover letter and Curriculum Vitae (CV) to Chris @ email hidden; JavaScript is required

Contact Us

For press inquiries, questions about our organization, or to discuss a donation:

Upper Amazon Conservancy
Chris Fagan
PO Box 4961
Jackson, WY 83001

tel: 307-413-8133

email hidden; JavaScript is required

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