Enrique Beltrán Castillo (1903 – 1994) was one of Mexico's first
conservationists. A student of
Alfonso Herrera at the
UNAM in the 1920s, Beltrán was appointed by Herrera "to head two marine commissions (in 1923 and 1926), that were established to study and improve the use of Mexico's coastal fisheries."
In 1932, Beltrán received a
Guggenheim Fellowship "to consult
oceanographic archives in the United States and to study
After completing his doctorate in
zoology at Columbia, from 1939-52 Beltrán headed the Department of Protozoology at Mexico's
Institute of Health and Tropical Diseases.
With assistance from the
Charles Lathrop Pack Forestry Foundation, in 1952, Beltrán founded the
Mexican Institute of Renewable Natural Resources (
Instituto Mexicano de Recursos Naturales Renovables, or
IMERNAR), one of Mexico's first conservation organizations, serving as its director.
In 1966, he received a medal of honor from the
International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).