October 22, 2020

Meet Jamie MacDonald: the newest addition to the EcoAgriculture Partners team

Manon KoningsteinEcoAgriculture Partners

Jamie is our newest Program Intern. Recently returned to the US after 6.5 years in Nepal, Jamie is now pursuing a Master of Professional Studies in Global Development at Cornell University. During his internship, he will be assisting EcoAgriculture Partners with the coordination of a pilot ILM project in three districts of Nepal. Furthermore, he will also be looking at the intersection of ILM and regional renewable energy development. Time to learn more about Jamie:

EcoAg: Could you tell us a bit about yourself and how your background led you to work with EcoAgriculture Partners?

Jamie: I grew up in New Jersey. I studied economics and environmental science as an undergraduate at Union College in Schenectady, New York. Toward the end of my time at university, I started to develop a strong desire to learn how to farm. For two growing seasons after graduating, I worked on an organic farm near my hometown in New Jersey. In January 2014, I packed up and moved to western Nepal after accepting a sustainability position at an NGO there. What was intended to be a 5-month project turned into a six and half year, life-changing experience. Throughout my time at the BlinkNow Foundation, I was fortunate to be involved in and lead projects in green construction, renewable energy, ecological landscaping, food systems and sustainability education. I  returned to the US in July of this year and am now pursuing a Master of Professional Studies degree in Global Development at Cornell University.

I’m driven by a desire to understand how human communities can thrive within the limits of the natural world, and my economics, environmental science, agriculture and development experiences have all provided unique perspectives. I really look forward to working with EcoAgriculture Partners to further this understanding at a scale that is essential to match the monumental task ahead of us.

Jamie and students from Kopila Valley School ensure that the soil is prepared for the school’s annual rice planting event, Ropain.

EcoAg: What will be your role working with EcoAgriculture Partners?

Jamie: I will be assisting with the coordination of a pilot ILM project in three districts of Nepal. I’m really looking forward to collaborating with a diverse group of stakeholders to identify mutually beneficial development strategies. I am also excited to gain an understanding of the financial tools that can be used to implement these projects.

In addition to my direct duties with the Nepal project, I will also be looking at the intersection of ILM and regional renewable energy development. I believe there is great potential for renewable energy to enhance the concept of integrated landscape management and I look forward to understanding how this can be done in a way that is equitable, ecologically responsible and economically feasible.

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