I used my Tinker Award to conduct a scoping trip to the Dominican Republic as part of my dissertation research on the causes and conservation implications of farmland abandonment in the Caribbean. During my trip, I met with representatives from non-governmental organizations involved in biodiversity conservation, agroecology, and/or rural development; had informative conversations with members of two agroforestry cooperatives; and learned about conservation and land-use change trends from scientists at the Jardín Botánico Nacional in Santo Domingo. Through these conversations, I was able to establish a network of contacts and potential collaborators for the fieldwork I hope to conduct in the coming years. I also got feedback on my hypotheses and research questions from local farmers and scientists. My previous research projects have included studying small-scale fisheries management and coral reef conservation in Montserrat and Curacao and the resilience of fisheries in Mexico’s Gulf of California.