First week at CABI!

Today completes my first week at CABI. I knew CABI was a bit outside London, but the walk from the train station in Egham this week has been a welcome surprise. The forested areas around CABI are fantastic and make for such a pleasant walk to work. I got lost in the forest on Thursday and ended up going further than the public path I was meant to take; I was a bit late for work, but the sights, sounds, and pleasantness of the woods reminded me why I have no love affair with living in London.

On to the work! I met with Peter Baker, the coffee expert of CABI, and we further defined the goals of my work for the next month. There are some MSc students I am getting data from this weekend and I hope to continue with some of the brilliant work they’ve started on. I’ll save a full summary of the background of the work for a later post, but in short we are working with HRNS to (1) analyse the coffee production data in Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador to see the impacts of Coffee Leaf Rust, and (2) develop a model/simulation/game based on the results to explore how farmers and extension agents respond to climate and other market risks. While I don’t have the “right” numbers to fill in, I decided to follow the fail quickly paradigm and started drafting a model in excel on the first day. Here is where it is at on Friday and we’ll see where we want to take it next. My knowledge of VBA and creating user input forms on excel has greatly improved this week.

Until next week, Lee

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