Kata Young – Project Manager at EcoAgriculture Partners
Katherine (Kata) Young is Project Manager of integrated landscape management portfolio at EcoAgriculture Partners. Responsible for managing project work plans/budgets; strategic organizational development; multi-stakeholder engagement, decision-making and dialogue facilitation; capacity-building training and curriculum development; development of landscape performance assessments, monitoring and evaluation frameworks; and identifying opportunities for integrative management of agricultural land use and biodiversity conservation at the landscape scale in tropical environments. Master’s of Forest Science Candidate (’17) at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. She received a B.S. in International Agriculture & Rural Development from Cornell University as a non-traditional undergraduate student after working for 8 years with sustainable agriculture and community development as a tropical ethnobotanical horticulturist.
Kata has worked in humid and semi-arid tropical agroforestry projects (Belize, Nicaragua), developed two agroforestry nurseries (Nicaragua), analyzed mangrove restoration (Thailand, UK) and their aquaponic analogues (US), and conducted qualitative field research as a member of applied research teams analyzing farmer-field school programs, and adoption of conservation agriculture practices (México, Nicaragua, Bangladesh, India, and Moçambique). Her work has been conducted with indigenous and/or marginalized communities on the fringes of sensitive ecosystems, with scientists in tropical research stations and botanical gardens, and with food system activists in urban, post-industrial settings. Kata’s experiences revealed to her the pressing need for scientists, development practitioners, agricultural extensionists, eco-entrepreneurs, economists and policymakers to work closely together and with local community members to better integrate biophysical and social science at multi-levels, if we are to solve problems associated with food insecurity, forest fragmentation, and biodiversity conservation.
Kata’s research focused on how diversification of ethnobotanical species used in tropical agroforestry systems affects soil regeneration and ecosystem functioning from a forest ecology perspective in the cacao-growing region of the Atlantic Forest (Mata Atlântica) in Bahia, Brasil – one of the world’s most treasured and endangered biodiversity hotspots.