Jeanne F. Fossani led classes and working tours to Latin America, focusing on sustainability, agro-ecology,  bird conservation, and social justice issues.



              Glean Center for the Avian Arts


Coffee as a Crop,  Culture, Commodity and Conservation Tool


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New Initiatives at the University Of Vermont, 2007

The Continuing Education Department at the University of Vermont has showcased its commitment to Agua Buena, Costa Rica, through a new course offering.

"Coffee as a Crop, Culture, Commodity and Conservation Tool"
is taught by Jeanne Fossani, executive producer of “Birdsong and Coffee,” a documentary film shot on-site in Agua Buena. In this course, students will explore how seemingly unrelated subjects -- from illegal immigration and illegal drugs, to the destruction of forests and the disintegration of farming communities in Latin America -- all come together around coffee.

While appropriate for students of all backgrounds, the course is especially geared for those concerned about the environment and social justice, and who want an international experience. Interdisciplinary in nature, it is cross-listed through two UVM departments: The Departments of Community Development and Applied Economics and Plant and Soil Sciences, and through the Program on Environmental Studies. This service-learning course provides students with hands-on participation through field-based community projects and lots of structured reflection time.  

During the day, students will work side-by-side with local, small-scale coffee farmers and cooperative members in a full-on immersion situation. Students are expected to keep a daily journal and to meet in the evenings as a group to react, reflect and process their experience through open discussions.

In addition to the great learning opportunities, there will be loads of authentic cultural interaction. Hard work will be tempered with tropical fun by visits to rain forests, a day at the beach, and other tourist activities.


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