Until her death from cancer on October 24, 2007, at the age of 55, Jeanne F. Fossani directed the Eco-Birding working group at Sally Glean, helping to design habitats that are jointly beneficial to humans and birds. An experienced birder who guided groups through a variety of temperate and tropical habitats, Jeanne understood that the only way to protect species is to conserve habitats— and that is only possible when human beings live sustainably.

Obituaries and Reflections
Sally Glean Center for the Avian Arts


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Jeanne F. Fossani sees ecotourism and agrotourism as a way of reconciling disparate economic and environmental goals.

A former Professor at EARTH University in Costa Rica, she now works as a consultant at the intersection of ecology, economics, and human community, with a special expertise in extending song-bird habitat in the coffee-producing regions of Latin America. Born in the United States, she has lived abroad for most of her adult life, and is fluent in Spanish, Italian, French, and English.

 Representative Projects:

In 2007, 
Jean Fossanni led working groups to Vera Cruz, Mexico, and the Talamanca Range of Costa Rica.   

• Designed, supervised, and evaluated shade-grown coffee-related thesis projects for students at EARTH University, including assessment  of  feasibility and profitability, analysis of products and services offered, suggestions of value-added use of existing resources, introduction of bird watching and agro-ecotourism programs, and provision of sustainable alternatives.

• Planned, organized, and led tours of coffee-producing areas, examining a wide array of factors including size, certification standards, agronomic and social/environmental conditions, shade gradients and composition, beneficios, cooperatives, and small farming communities.

• Acted as location and content scout for the Institute for Field Ornithology in preparation for a course linking shade grown coffee and migratory bird populations in Matagalpa, Nicaragua.

• Organized rural community service projects related to sustainable agriculture.
• Proposed to the board of directors of EARTH University a plan to adopt avi/agro/ecotourism emphasis and worked with them to implement the emphasis.

• Developed program to train former poachers, hunters and loggers as naturalist guides. Taught interpretive and thematic presentation skills and English using hands-on techniques to prepare guides and staff for interaction with international tourists.

• Lectured for annual educational series sponsored by Asociación Ornitológica to celebrate hawk migration.

• Translated U.S. Fish and Wildlife’s Sister School Shorebird Project materials on bird ecology, conservation and migration for internationally distributed publication and on-line use (English to Spanish). Acted as regional representative for Birder’s Exchange, an organization that supplies optical equipment, computers and other equipment for students, guides and researchers in need.

• Designed and led month-long cross-country natural history/environmental education expedition for high school seniors to Yellowstone National Park, The Badlands and the Grand Tetons.

• Instituted program enabling hundreds of local underprivileged children to visit Costa Rica’s leading ecotourism site free of charge.

Jeanne F. Fossani’s academic positions include:

Professor of ESL at EARTH University, Costa Rica (1995-2005).
Lecturer, Lebanon College, Lebanon, New Hampshire, U.S.A., 1991-1994.
Lecturer, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, U.S.A., 1991-1994.
Education Coordinator, Japan Environmental Exchange, Kyoto, Japan, 1989-1991.
Instructor, Brookdale Community College, Lincroft, New Jersey, U.S.A., 1984-1987.

Education and Professional Certification:

M. Ed.,
Foreign Languages and ESL, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, 1987.

B.A. Magna Cum Laude, French and Italian, New York University, New York, New York, 1982.  Junior and senior year spent abroad, all course work in French or Italian, La Sorbonne, Paris.