University of Vermont


News and Updates

New Book Out ! Agroecology: a transdisciplinary, participatory and action oriented approach, edited by Ernesto Mendez and colleagues, has been published. 

Agroecology and Rural Livelihoods Group

Agroecology and Livelihoods Collaborative (ALC) (formerly Agroecology & Rural Livelihoods Group-ARLG)

Our research and teaching efforts focus on developing and applying transdisciplinary approaches that analyze interactions between agriculture, livelihoods, and environmental conservation in tropical and temperate rural landscapes. Most of this work also utilizes a Participatory Action Research approach (PAR) — this interdisciplinary approach is the thread that brings our work together in an effort to directly support conservation and rural development.

In the Northeast

Our research in the Northeastern United States includes participatory farm mapping in Vermont's Champlain Valley as part of the USDA-funded landscape context study, and a long-term multidisciplinary initiative to work with farmers, agricultural service providers, researchers and community organizations to address the impacts of climate change in the Northeast both through evaluation and implementation of on-farm climate change mitigation and adaptation practices in partnership with the USDA Northeast Regional Climate Hub.


Members of the lab are currently working in Mexico, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. Research activities in this area focus on the potential of agroecology to support farmer livelihoods and conserve ecosystem services in agroforestry-dominated landscapes. Most of our previous work focused on shade coffee, but we are expanding it to include other forms of agroforestry, such as homegardens, and food crops - including corn, beans and vegetables.

Recent Publications

ARLG members have participated in three new publications accepted or in press in top tier journals. These include an article on coffee smallholder food security in Global Environmtal Change (ARLG lead Ernesto Méndez is co-author), a global review on ecological and livelihood factors of shade coffee in Bioscience (Ernesto Méndez is co-author) and a longitudinal analysis of biodiversity and carbon stocks in a smallholder coffee cooperative in Conservation Biology (ARLG alum Meryl Richards is lead author and Ernesto Méndez is co-author)

Last modified February 08 2017 03:03 PM

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