From September 2017 to July 2018, 5th IDS Co-op Student, Astrid Galvez Ciani, conducted her placement in Turrialba, Costa Rica with The Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE). Astrid’s passion for coffee and agroecology motivated her to undertake her placement with CATIE. During her placement, Astrid monitored a long-term coffee agroforestry experiment. She collected and analyzed data on a monthly basis on diseases wearing down coffee plants and on shade patterns. Astrid’s thesis research explores the impacts of the Payments for Environmental Services (PES) for Established Coffee Agroforestry systems on the socio-ecological wellbeing of smallholder coffee farmers.
During her placement, Astrid also had the opportunity to be trained and to train other interns which according to her served as an amazing peer learning experience and enhanced her knowledge on coffee agroforestry. She got involved in a variety of experiments focusing on weeds, micro-climates, diseases, shade, pruning, and epiphyte biodiversity, among others. She also attended and translated at the World Bank conference on Payments for Environmental Services programs in January 2018. In her spare time, Astrid volunteered with the bird monitoring experiment at CATIE, the butterfly biodiversity project, and at the sustainability house.