Year of Award


Document Type

Professional Paper

Degree Type

Master of Arts (MA)

Department or School/College

School of Journalism

Committee Chair

Henriette Löwisch

Commitee Members

Daniel Spencer, Jeremy Lurgio


coffee rust, coffee, Central America, Nicaragua, fungus


University of Montana


Coffee is one of the world’s most popular beverages, and many of us in the developed world count on high quality, specialty, Arabica coffee to start out day. But much of that coffee comes from Central America, where for the past two years, a fungus known as coffee rust has severely damaged many of the region’s coffee plants, impacting almost 2 million people who rely on coffee for the majority of their income. For one community in northern Nicaragua where growing coffee is a way of life, almost all of their 2013/2014 harvest has been destroyed because of the rust. Now they are diversifying into other crops while trying to replant coffee plants, which will take three to four years to fruit. But another threat, climate change, is looming, and in less than 50 years, they may no longer be at the optimal elevation for growing coffee. Can they survive this crisis, and if so, will their children and grandchildren be able to grow Arabica coffee at all?



© Copyright 2014 Stephanie Danielle Parker