At the recent annual meeting of the trustees of the Conservation and Research Foundation we elected our newest board member, Dr. Ernesto Mendez of the Plant & Soil Science Department and Environmental Studies Program of the University of Vermont. Ernesto brings to the board a long-standing, innovative, action-research program in coffee communities of Latin America rooted in agroecology approaches to the joint conservation of ecosystems and improvement of rural livelihoods. His most recent book on Confronting the Coffee Crisis: Fair Trade, Sustainable Livelihoods, and Ecosystems in Mexico and Central America published by MIT Press has been described as “provocative and innovative in its comprehensive approach to researching and covering the coffee system from field to cup”. He is also a research associate with the Center for Tropical Ecology and Conservation (CTEC) at Antioch University New England, Adjunct Professor at the International University of Andalucia (Spain), and a founding member of Advising & Interdisciplinary Research for Local Development and Conservation (ASINDEC) in El Salvador and the Community Agroecology Network (CAN) in California.
The work of Ernesto and his Agroecology and Rural Livelihoods Group was just highlighted in an article in the Burlington Free Press. You can also visit his ARL Group’s home page, and learn more about about the broader Community Participatory Action Research Network that he co-chairs at the University of Vermont.