B.A., University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; M.S., University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley
In the late 1990's, Rice worked with his late colleague, Dr. Russ Greenberg, to create the Bird Friendly coffee initiative. One of Rice's major communication and outreach efforts has been the management of this program, which now has a global reach from coffee areas in Latin America and Africa to consumers in the U.S., Japan and Europe. Working within the specialty coffee community, from researching peasant producers in remote rural areas of Latin America to attending annual trade show exhibitions, has generated an array of windows into which Rice's research efforts have ventured.
Rice earned his PhD in the Department of Geography at the University of California, Berkeley in 1990. His B.A. in English came from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill in 1974, and he obtained a Master's Degree in Geography at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in 1982. Rice came to the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center in 1995.
Coffee roasting at home—in a backyard shed he built expressly for this purpose—occupies some of Rice's out-of-office hours, as does a love of making herb vinegars, homemade tonic and a general exploratory philosophy toward cooking. Nearly fluent in Spanish from living in Peru as a child, he loves discovering all things etymological. Rice also fancies himself an undiscovered and underdeveloped lyricist of country songs ("fancies" is the operative word here).
"Shade coffee: update on a disappearing refuge for biodiversity." BioScience. Shalene Jha, Christopher M. Bacon, Stacy M. Philpott, V. Ernesto Méndez , Peter Läderach, Robert A. Rice. 2014.
"Conserving biodiversity through certification of tropical agroforestry crops at local and landscape scales." Conservation Letters. doi: 10.1111/conl.12110. Tscharntke, T., Milder, J. C., Schroth, G., Clough, Y., DeClerck, F., Waldron, A., Rice, R. and Ghazoul, J. 2014.
"FairTrade Coffee and Environmental Sustainability in Latin America." Chapter in Raynolds, L. (ed.) Handbook on Fair Trade Products.