That’s a Wrap!

I submitted my thesis a few days ago and I am now back in the U.S. after a lengthy day of travel. It is definitely a bittersweet feeling to be done with the MScCCAFS program and to have left Galway. There is a lot I will miss but I’m mostly feeling grateful for this experience and optimistic for what the future holds.

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The Case for Participatory Development of CIS

I took a class during undergrad titled “Humanitarianism and International Aid Work.” The course was largely a (deserved) critique of humanitarian aid provided by the west. One of the reoccurring constraints to effective aid was that the development of it was not participatory, and therefore it did not incorporate local knowledge. Without the input of the community the assistance was aiming to serve, the aid proved to be ineffective more often than not.

Similarly, in order for climate information services (CIS) to be as effective as possible it needs to be developed through a participatory process. Keep on reading

R You Ready to Code?

A MScCCAFS alum advised our class to develop a technical skill during our research placements if possible, so I approached my thesis determined to learn how to code. Luckily, the project I ended up working on required some quantitative analysis through R Studio, a free programming software. 

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The Importance of Climate Information Services

As a result of climate change, Vietnam is expected to experience extended rainy seasons, longer and more severe dry seasons, higher temperatures, and more frequent extreme weather events (SCC 2019). It is estimated that by 2050 Vietnam could see a loss of up to 50% of its Robusta coffee production area due to changes in rainfall patterns and increased temperatures (ICO 2019). The likely impacts of climate change on coffee production can be seen in the figure below:

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Background on Coffee in Vietnam

Vietnam’s coffee industry has experienced rapid growth since its beginnings in 1975. With approximately 600,000 hectares of coffee farmland, Vietnam is currently the largest producer of Robusta coffee in the world and the second largest producer of coffee globally, second only to Brazil (FAO 2020). On average, Vietnam produces over 2.3 metric tons of coffee per hectare, one of the highest rates in the world (ICO 2019). 

Given these facts, it’s no surprise that coffee plays an important role in the country’s agriculture sector:

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Welcome & Thesis Research Overview

Hello all and welcome to my first official blog post!

For my thesis research I will be working with the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) based in Hanoi, Vietnam. My research will be conducted under CIAT’s Weather Forecasting for Coffee Sustainability (WEFOCOS) project.  

My research is unfortunately looking a little different than expected due to COVID-19 and the travel restrictions that were implemented as a result. Instead of doing an in-person placement in Hanoi, I’ll be doing all work remotely.  Nonetheless, I am still very grateful to be working with CIAT on such an interesting project! Keep on reading