Community partnerships are a cornerstone of my research process.
Throughout my career, I have partnered with community organizations, both locally and internationally, to conduct field research and participate in knowledge co-production and exchange. My current work in the Bright Spots of Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems project seeks to identify existing solutions for sustainable agri-food systems across Mexico and India. The first step in this process is to ask actors from across these food systems what “sustainability” means for them. We will accomplish this through research collaborations with local scientists and workshops bringing together diverse actors to discuss their visions of a sustainable future.
During my PhD, I spearheaded a participatory research and rural extension project that remains active to this day and has been awarded $85,000 since 2018 by the Conservation, Food and Health Foundation. This grant directly benefits my research partner, the Brazilian nonprofit CEPAGRO, employs two female Brazilian agronomists, and provides technical support to farmers in the Rede Ecovida network and local indigenous communities.
Similarly, for my undergraduate thesis fieldwork in 2014 I partnered with the sustainable development non-profit EcoLogic Development Fund, whose mission is to empower local communities to conserve tropical rainforests in Central America. This research partnership led to my subsequent employment at EcoLogic, where I redesigned the agroforestry program through a participatory process involving interviews and workshops with field technicians from Guatemala, Mexico, and Honduras to ensure EcoLogic’s approach was in line with community conservation priorities.
Complementing our scientific publications, my community partners and I have published educational materials for Brazilian farmers.
See several of our publications below:
Cover crops and agroecology video series (2021):
Adubação Verde e Agroecologia #1
Adubação Verde e Agroecologia #2