Research interests: My research focuses on community efforts to continue traditional and locally adapted farming practices in Mayan communities in Yucatan, Mexico. Traditional farming in these communities is characterized by high levels of agrobiodiversity, careful management of intercrops and rotations, and little need for inputs. Mayan farmers pass on seeds, animals, and a deep knowledge of nature and agriculture from generation to generation, but many farmers tell me that this process is threatened. I will take a participatory action research approach to working with farming communities on efforts to pass on their farming heritage and create opportunities for a new generation of Mayan farmers. The effort includes participatory in-situ conservation of native an locally adapted germplasm of plants and animals, re-valuing traditional knowledge essential for the management of those plants and animals in diverse agroecosystems, and participatory creation of new agroecological knowledge for addressing the agronomic, economic, climactic, cultural, and ecological challenges that face subsistence farmers today.
Contact Devon Sampson by email: firstname.lastname@example.org