Donald Perry

1984 Laureate, Exploration
United States, Born 1947

Project Goal

Design an "aerial tram" with a system of ropes and pulleys to open the tropical forest canopy to observation

Location: Costa Rica

"Uncontrolled nature tourism can best be called eco-destruction."

Biologist-turned-entrepreneur Donald Perry has made it possible for tourists, students and scientists alike to explore the wonderland that flourishes on the equivalent of the "15th floor" of the tropical rain forest. By designing and developing various research vehicles over the years, Perry has overcome the problem of studying the flora and fauna of these complex canopy communities and opened one of the earth’s last unknown regions to observation.


tourists 16 gondolas can carry through the canopy


percentage of species living in the tropical forest canopy


height, in metres, of the forest canopy


percentage of rain forest trees with limbs too weak to climb

Other 1984 Laureates