Hurricanes, Climate Change, and Agriculture

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Student Research Reports, Summer 2018

Coffee trees growing under the shade of plantains and native canopy trees in San Cristóbal Province. (Photo by Katherine Siegel.)
Coffee trees growing under the shade of plantains and native canopy trees in San Cristóbal Province. (Photo by Katherine Siegel.)

Hurricanes, Climate Change, and Agriculture
By Katherine Siegel

I used my Tinker Award to conduct a scoping trip to the Dominican Republic as part of my dissertation research on the causes and conservation implications of farmland abandonment in the Caribbean. During my trip, I met with representatives from nongovernmental organizations involved in biodiversity conservation, agroecology, and/or rural development; had informative conversations with members of two agroforestry cooperatives; and learned about conservation and land use change trends from scientists at the Jardín Botánico Nacional in Santo Domingo. Through these conversations, I was able to establish a network of contacts and potential collaborators for the fieldwork I hope to conduct in the coming years. I also got feedback on my hypotheses and research questions from local farmers and scientists. My previous research projects have included studying small-scale fisheries management and coral reef conservation in Montserrat and Curacao and the resilience of fisheries in Mexico’s Gulf of California.

Cacao pods growing on Marisol's farm. Marisol is an elected leader for her district in her cacao growing cooperative. (Photo by Katherine Siegel.)
Cacao pods growing on Marisol's farm. Marisol is an elected leader for her district in her cacao growing cooperative. (Photo by Katherine Siegel.)

Pedro, José, and Hugo relax in the shade of a cacao tree while telling me about their cooperative's involvement in rural development and the role of agroforestry in preserving biodiverse landscapes in the Dominican Republic. (Photo by Katherine Siegel.)
Pedro, José, and Hugo relax in the shade of a cacao tree while telling me about their cooperative's involvement in rural development and the role of agroforestry in preserving biodiverse landscapes in the Dominican Republic. (Photo by Katherine Siegel.)

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