Cara’s research integrates the disciplines of tropical ecology, agroforestry, and sustainable forest management within the context of neotropical smallholder and community-based systems. She has pursued these complementary research interests since 1998, when she served as a Peace Corps agroforestry volunteer in Paraguay. She believes that a cohesive approach to natural resource management research will have a positive impact on livelihood development as well as biodiversity conservation and environmental services. To date, most of her research has been conducted in Southwestern Amazonia, but she has also recently developed projects in South Florida, looking at environmental services and food security provided by urban food forests.
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