Dr. Gang Chen (PI) and Dr. Colleen Hammelman (Co-PI) received a three-year $298,292 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to study the lasting consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on landscape change in tropical crop cultivation.
Americans’ access to tropical crops has been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. While the pandemic apparently disrupts cultivation tentatively, it is unclear whether there may be a slow recovery or a permanent change in the cultivation landscape, driven by diverse, COVID-19-relevant biophysical and socioeconomic factors, e.g., crop acreage or types, and cultivation methods. Such uncertainty could have a downward impact on U.S. economy, regional trade, and food security. This project aims to address this knowledge gap by focusing on the agricultural landscape change in Eastern Thailand. It will provide U.S. undergraduate and graduate students, particularly students from underrepresented groups, a unique opportunity to study the lasting consequences of COVID-19 on landscape change in tropical crop cultivation. This project is funded by the Office of International Science and Engineering (OISE).