Mary Kate Wheeler presents in Lima, Peru

Mary Kate Wheeler, a recent Dyson master’s graduate, and TNC NatureNet postdoc Shannan Sweet are getting the word out about their Atkinson-funded surveys of farmers. 

CARE and TNC: Early-Career Researchers Getting Results

March 7, 2017

Mary Kate Wheeler presents in Lima, Peru

Mary Kate Wheeler, a recent Dyson master’s graduate, and TNC NatureNet postdoc Shannan Sweet are getting the word out about their Atkinson-funded surveys of farmers.

Wheeler worked with smallholder farmers in the Peruvian Andes as part of a project supported by CARE-Cornell. Sweet interviewed New York State farmers about their water use during last summer’s historic drought. Their results will inform further research to help farmers across the Americas adapt to climate change.

Working with agricultural development expert David Lee, CARE collaborators, and partners at the Universidad Peruana de Los Andes, Wheeler and her team interviewed more than 500 households across six communities in the Andean highlands. The survey’s aim was to assess nutrition in children under five, see what motivates families to adopt sustainable farming practices, and document how these practices relate to household food security.

Wheeler and Lee presented preliminary results in January to 65 stakeholders and officials in Lima, Peru. Analysis of the links among agriculture, food security, and nutrition is still under way. The findings will shape policies and programs in the region. Read more about the study in a piece by Wheeler published last April.

Teaming up with soil scientist David Wolfe and colleagues at The Nature Conservancy, Sweet is at work on a project to identify climate-driven weak points in the state’s agricultural water resources and develop tools to help local farmers respond to our changing climate. She interviewed 275 farmers in 2016 about drought impacts, irrigation practices, and water supplies on their farms. Sweet and Wolfe recently published their results in Cornell Cooperative Extension’s VegEdge newsletter (pages 6–8).

Save