Climate Vulnerability of Smallholder Agriculture in Chiquimula Department, Guatemala


I initially planned to investigate drought and agriculture in the Chiquimula Department of Guatemala to inform intervention design. To do this I intended to first use satellite imagery to track regional dynamics of crop water stress through drought and non-drought years. Then, I would conduct informal interviews with smallholders to understand the trade-offs they are faced with in a world of increasing water scarcity. Previous research has shown that climate change can severely affect crop yields, especially in areas of the tropics where crops may already have been stressed (e.g. Lobell et al. 2012), but linking landscape-scale and community-scale problem identification has not yet been extensively explored in climate adaptation. Instead of traveling to the field, I conducted an extensive literature review on the connections between climate, land use, and development. I also did some initial satellite imagery analysis before realizing that I needed a more meaningful response variable for the study, which is important in applied work. This realization made me step back and develop out my dissertation prospectus, which ties together a larger narrative of climate-driven drought in Central America.

Evan Patrick
Publication date: 
August 30, 2020
Publication type: 
Student Research