Who We Are
Ecotone is based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and its owner Jan-Willem Jansens has over 25 years of experience in complex ecological restoration work in this bioregion. Ecotone’s expertise encompasses a wide array of ecosystems, including watersheds, wetlands, riparian areas, forestlands, woodlands, and public and private open spaces and trails. Our clients include individual landowners, non-profit groups, educational institutions, local governments, and state and federal natural resource departments. We are leaders in the field of ecological restoration planning and design, known for our unique expertise in the diverse and complex ecosystems of northern New Mexico, focused analysis, comprehensive planning processes, diverse team management, and connections to professional networks in the western US.
Owner | Principal
A landscape architect and ecological planner by training,
Jan-Willem Jansens specializes in landscape management planning, ecological restoration planning and design, and land stewardship education. He has developed particular expertise in forest and woodland ecology, watershed health, and collaborative stewardship work with communities and landowners. He has more than 30 years of work experience in the US, East and West Africa, and northwestern Europe.
Ecological Planning Associate
Erin lives in La Madera, along the Vallecitos River, and is passionate about the restoration of treasured natural areas in northern New Mexico. Previously from the Tri-Cities area in Washington State, she worked for several years on environmental analysis and research projects at Pacific Northwest National Lab.
Lauren grew up in the foothills just west of Denver, CO. She attended the University of New Mexico and earned a bachelor's degree in International Studies with a minor in Environmental Science. While in school, she was an active member of the UNM Wilderness Alliance and a frequent volunteer for Ecotone projects. Through her participation in Ecotone projects, Lauren recognized her passion for landscape restoration and ultimately decided to join Ecotone in May 2019 as an intern.
A Sample of Ecotone’s Network of Partners
Albuquerque Wildlife Federation
Arid Lands Institute
Cimarron Watershed Alliance
Eldorado Community Improvement Association
Embudo Valley Regional Acequia Association
Forest Reserve Company
Forest Stewards Guild
Glorieta Freedom Ranch
San Isidro Permaculture
Santa Fe Conservation Trust
Santa Fe County – Open Space & Trails Program
Santa Fe Watershed Association
State of New Mexico – Environment Department, Surface Water Quality Bureau
Sustainable Ecosystems, LLC
Wild Earth Guardians
UNM Wilderness Alliance
Zeedyk Ecological Consulting, LLC
The Story of Ecotone
An “ecotone” is an ecological transition area where two or more landscape types, biotopes or ecosystems come together. As a result, an ecotone shows characteristics of different ecological areas and can therefore be rich in biodiversity. Ecotones are often also areas with a great amount of change and movement, or more technically said, with considerable ecological dynamics.
Ecotones are edge areas where wildlife hangs out and moves through,water flows or stops flowing, shade and light meet each other, and where plant life ebbs and flows with the changing circumstances.
People often like areas that are diverse, that form a protective edge, that are between wet and dry, low and high, that are shaded but have a view, and therefore feel secure and comfortable.
As larger weather patterns and human activities change, ecotones show signs of flooding, drought, and erosion, plant regeneration and plant die off, rich biomass and wildfire, and competition or conflict between animal and human habitat. It is therefore important to understand what is happening in such dynamic transition areas that we humans like as much as many animals do.
It is in the ecotone of natural and human habitat that we will need to plan carefully and perhaps more often.
Landscape planning activities often take place in areas that are in transition, where new adaptations must be made, and where a new balance has to be found between the forces of nature and the needs and wishes of people. In many places, such transition areas have suffered from poor reconciliation between natural processes and people’s activities. Therefore, they often are degraded and need to be restored to a new level of functionality, health and beauty. That is where the business Ecotone comes in, and why it bears the name of this critical part of the landscape. Ecotone as a business represents the power of restorative planning of landscapes in transition.
The Story of the Ginkgo Leaf Logo
The Ginkgo tree is a unique and ancient plant species (Ginkgo biloba). It has evoked many musings and meanings over the centuries because of its unusual characteristics. It’s a tree that cannot easily be categorized. It’s a conifer but looks and behaves in certain ways like a broadleaf tree as its leaves turn yellow and are shed in the fall; it appears to have one leaf or a leaf with two lobes but in fact has many needles fused into one; it’s strong and adaptable but also slow growing and sensitive; young tree are only male or female but older specimen can be bi-sexual. The tree now only grows in the wild in eastern China and has been disseminated in temperate climates across the world for ornamental purposes, but millions of years ago the Ginkgo covered vast areas across Earth, including the western US.
Old European folklore celebrated the tree as a sign of resilience and wisdom, given its survival over millions of years, and as a species signifying unity and reconciliation because of how it combines two different appearances, as expressed in the single bilobate leaf, its conifer and broadleaf character, and its bisexuality. When Jan-Willem Jansens started a precursor to Ecotone in 1998, the unique characteristics of this tree were a great inspiration to him.The aspects of resilience and (re)conciliation are key aspects of ecological approaches to healing our landscapes on Earth, as described by authors such as E.O. Wilson and Courtney White, who informed and inspired Ecotone’s work approach.