Friday, August 28, 2020

My Sig File

Bridgewater State University
EarthView Co-coordinator 
Honors Advisory Board 
Transgender Civil Rights Working Group
Regions: Latin America - Cape Verde - United States
Topics: Political Ecology, Environmental Policy, Urban Geography 
nternational Research and Scholarship Committee, American Association of Geographers
President, Natural Resources Trust of Bridgewater
Affiliated Scholar, Vanderbilt University Institute for Coffee Studies

BSU Dept. of Geography
Bridgewater, Massachusetts 02325
Working and Living on
Wôpanâak (Wampanoag) Land
USA/EUA/eeuu :: 508-531-2118 
Personal Portal:

Taking on a few new roles during the 2020 pandemic, I allowed my email signature file to grow a bit beyond what is reasonable, as a beloved relative gently pointed out.

So I have outsourced the signature file, with a pointer to this post -- only for those who care enough to click to it. And now it might really grow, like a plant that has been moved to a bigger pot.

Each link above points to some aspect of my work or identity. In the case of my pronouns (he/el/ele), the link is to a general explanation of why people have started declaring their pronouns in this way. A more common format for CIS men would be (he/him/his), but I am starting to use "he" along with its Spanish and Portuguese equivalents, to signify that I'm open to conversation in these languages (with decent though not perfect fluency).


Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Environmental Education in Nicaragua

 Our friends in Nicaragua face a multitude of challenges -- a terrible political situation, a global pandemic being handled poorly by the national government, and an economic depression resulting from both.

But Nicaraguans are incredibly resilient (a quality nobody should have to demonstrate as often as they do), and my friends in the coffeelands especially so. Some of them have responded in a way that is meeting economic, educational, ecological, and psychological needs all at once.

They are building on their expertise in sustainable tourism and environmental education to create an 18-month training program for local young people. This program will rely on monthly sponsorships.

On Wednesday evening August 19, we will be explaining the project in an online discussion. I will also be posting more details here, but if you can join us at 7:30 (U.S. East Coast time), please do.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Quality & Justice

Updated August 15, 2020: We had a very nice conversation on June 26 (see the promotional information below), and my friends at Equal captured it for others to see. Urgent family matters took my attention away for the following month, so I am only today remembering to post the video here. Please have a look. 
Equal Exchange Action Forum is the consumer-organizing arm of the West Bridgewater-based company that is best known for its leadership in fair-trade coffee. Danielle Robidoux is one of the coordinators of the Action Forum, and a former student of mine. This message is from Danielle to the Action Forum network (and anybody interested in this work). The event is free, but pre-registration is required. 
During this uncertain time and as in-person gatherings are still at a standstill we are going to continue to create virtual spaces for us to gather and learn together. Please join us for this upcoming virtual event!
(click the link above to RSVP)
What does coffee quality mean to Equal Exchange? What is the importance of coffee quality to our producer partners? How has quality evolved over the years? Join Mike Mowry, Coffee Quality Coordinator at Equal Exchange, and James Hayes-Bohanan, citizen-consumer member, teacher, and coffee geographer for a discussion on coffee quality. 
Bridgewater State students at the world's first farmer-owned cupping lab.

Saturday, April 25, 2020


On Monday evening, April 27, we held an online event sponsored by Bridgewater One Book One Community, BSU Senior College, and the BSU Department of Geography. This was a Zoom event; a recording is at the end of this post.

The repela process at Mil Flores, my home-away-from-home in the community of La Corona.
From the Facebook Event page for this presentation.
See my review
The event is an online version of a public lecture that was originally scheduled as part of the community-wide read of Thanks a Thousand by A.J. Jacobs.

I will describe my own journey, beginning in our Bridgewater kitchen and ending in coffee farms in Nicaragua, Guatemala, Costa Rica, and beyond. Skipping over a few steps in the commodity chain, this presentation will begin with our daily coffee ritual and will then focus on the farmers to whom those rituals are connected.

You do not need to have read this book to attend this presentation, but it is a quick read (even by my slow-reader standards) and readily available online for those who wish to peruse it.

View my slides to revisit any part of the presentation and to follow links for further exploration. A video of this presentation will be available after the event.

May 6 Tasting Event: Please visit the GEOG298 blog for student presentations; please visit early to choose one or more coffees to order so that you can enhance the experience with remote tasting.

Summer note: If you wish to learn more about coffee from the comfort of your home, please consider Coffee Week. We will be offering this 3-credit summer class June 15-19; it is open to BSU and non-BSU students alike, for undergraduate or graduate credit.


Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Chiapas Connections

March 8, 2011 Women's March in Chiapas
Image: S¡Paz
One of my former students found herself at the most recent women's march in Chiapas, an annual event described in a 2011 article on S¡Paz, from Servicio Internacional para la Paz. Her invitation to join her in an online presentation about her trip led me to review some of my earlier posts about this most pivotal corner of Latin America.

more to come ...

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Home Cooking

Cod Almondine, June 2019
As people around the world are spending more time than ever at home, my favorite librarian and I are doing even more of what we always do: cooking for ourselves. And we notice that many other people are doing the same.

We have been sharing links to our cooking blog more than usual (and adding to it more regularly) since stay-at-home began in earnest. I am adding a link here, so that it will be easier for people to find who might not have the direct link. Our Nueva Receta Cada Semana blog is named for the ambition (more or less met over the years) to post one new recipe each week.

We now have over 600 cooking stories on the blog, most of them with sufficient information to be replicated, and with plenty of ideas about substituting ingredients according to availability. The blog is searchable (as all Blogger-based blogs are) by a keyword finder at the top-left and -- because this was started by a librarian -- subject terms on the right side of the screen that include words like vegetarian and easy.

Sunday, February 2, 2020

Coffee, Chocolate, and Geographies of Resilience

I am very pleased to have been invited to discuss Coffee, Chocolate, and Geographies of Resilience on this Whistlepig Day -- 02/02/2020 @ 02:02:02 in the afternoon at the Vineyard Haven Public Library. I am even more delighted that the invitation came at the request of a BSU graduate who long ago took my Secret Life of Coffee Course.