Alliance for the Monteverde Institute

Board of Directors, Alliance for the Monteverde Institute

The Monteverde Institute has friends all over the world.  People who have come and spent time at the Institute are often inspired to continue their relationship and stay involved.  The Alliance for the Monteverde Institute (AMVI) is a vehicle for continued engagement.

AMVI devotes its resources to educational outreach within the United States regarding Central American rainforests and matters of sustainability, including the promotion and support of the Monteverde Institute and educational groups in Monteverde, Costa Rica.  We are able to receive tax deductible donations from the United States* and serve as a conduit for individuals and groups in the United States and Canada to continue their support of Monteverde and the Institute.

For more information about our work, please link to our newsletter for Alumni and Supporters here. 

Let us know if you would like to be involved by contacting one of the Board of Directors introduced below. 

*The Alliance for the Monteverde Institute, incorporated in the State of Vermont, is organized solely for educational, scientific, cultural and charitable purposes as outlined in section 501c(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

President, Lynda Schneekloth

Lynda Schneekloth is Professor Emeritus at the School of Architecture and Planning, University at Buffalo/SUNY. She first traveled to Monteverde in 1989 when she wrote a book with Robert Shibley, Placemaking: The Art and Practice of Building Communities, a book dedicated to Monteverde. In 1991, she and Shibley brought down the first group of planning and architecture students and by 1995, they had instituted the Sustainable Futures Study Abroad program with the Landscape Department at the University at Maryland. Over the last twenty years, she has worked on organizational development, planning and design projects professionally and with students in their service learning program.

Vice President, Robert Howe

Robert (Bob) Howe has been visiting Monteverde since 1987 and actively supporting the Institute for several years. He has recently retired from 47 years of operating guest ranches and summer camps in Wyoming and Colorado so is looking forward to being even more active in supporting the goals of the MVI. Bob is also the author of the MVI alumni and supporters newsletter: Read here

Secretary, Leslie Burlingame

Leslie Burlingame is a science and environmental historian who has been visiting Monteverde since 1991. She took (1992) a short course on rainforest ecology and conservation through the Monteverde Institute (MVI) and began research on conservation organizations in Costa Rica, including the MVI. Some of her findings appeared in Narkarni and Wheelwright (eds.), Monteverde: Ecology and Conservation of a Tropical Cloud Forest.  She is a retired professor in the Science, Technology, and Society Program at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pa., and writes histories of MVI and other conservation and educational organizations in Monteverde.

Treasurer, Ashley Gora

Ashley Gora became AMVI Treasurer in January 2018. She previously worked as the Interns & Research Affiliates Coordinator for the Monteverde Institute during her post-university fellowship from January 2014 to July 2015. Before that time, she carried out two internship experiences through Institute while researching sustainable tourism in the region, eventually publishing the Monteverde case study as her senior thesis. Ashley currently works as the Grants Coordinator for Big Sur Land Trust in Monterey, California and volunteers for the Toro Creek MAPS bird banding station in partnership with the Ventana Wildlife Society and Monterey Audobon Society. She is fluent in Spanish and obtained her MBA Social Enterprise and Finance and her MA International Environmental Policy from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in August 2017.

Member at Large, Laurie Kutner

Laurie Kutner is a Library Associate Professor at the University of Vermont who also serves as a faculty in the Environmental Studies Program.  Laurie has worked on several projects with libraries in Costa Rica and Peru.  Her interests in disparities in information access on a global scale derive from the work she has done at the Monteverde Institute for over 10 years supporting the library, building digital collections to provide access to locally-based research-based materials, and more recently, speaking with students regarding inequities in access and production of scholarly information from a Latin American perspective.

Member at Large, Jennie Mollica


Jennie Mollica lived in Monteverde with her family from 2016-2018, after visiting the area several times, and continues to feel strong ties.  At the Monteverde Institute, she served as a volunteer English teacher for homestay families and other community members.  In her other home in California, Jennie has worked in the areas refugee and immigrant services, employment and training services, and community college education.  Jennie has degrees in French and in Public Administration and is currently working on a degree in Teaching English as a Second Language.

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