Kate Sherren

Landscapes - People - Global change

Author: k8sherren (page 1 of 49)

Urban paper in Ecosystem Services

Planning imperatives related to ecosystem services in urban planning (Figure 3 in Thompson et al. 2019)

Planning imperatives related to ecosystem services in urban planning (Figure 3 in Thompson et al. 2019)

Congratulations to Kate Thompson, for the first of her PhD comprehensive papers which has just come out in Ecosystem Services. Kate reviewed dozens of municipal plans in Canada, coding deductively for ecosystem services concepts using the new CICES framework, and synthesized what she found into a useful new model for urban planners. The paper, The use of ecosystem services concepts in Canadian municipal plans, translates ecosystem services to ‘planning imperatives’: protect ES supply, mimic and rebuild ES, and capitalize on ES. I am sure this paper will be useful to scholars and practitioners alike.

Congratulations, Ellen!

Ellen Chappell with me after her successful defense Monday, June 17, 2019.

Ellen Chappell with me after her successful defense Monday, June 17, 2019.

Congratulations to Ellen Chappell, who was first in her cohort to defend her MES this past Monday: she set a high bar indeed. The defense was well-timed to come after she presented the work at the Energy Research & Social Science conference at the end of May in Tempe, Arizona, and immediately before a Dal-based Clean Tech Research event. Thanks to committee member John Parkins and examiner Heather Braiden for engaging richly in Ellen’s work, despite calling in, and chair Peter Tyedmers and the sizable and engaged audience for managing to make it an event despite having so few committee members present in the flesh.

Ellen’s work explores the connections people have to landscape features that were created for specific uses, even when those uses fade, and what those kinds of connections mean for new landscape additions, specifically wind turbines. She made the first tests of climax thinking in her Chignecto Isthmus case study, and provided some encouraging results. We’ll be expanding on those results next week, when first-year MES Krysta Sutton and I start running our focus groups with coastal residents around Nova Scotia about climate adaptation options.

MES student achievements

A work of art featured in the new MES-curated Dal Art Gallery show Nature as Communities

A work of art featured in the new MES-curated Dal Art Gallery show Nature as Communities

A few quick things to mention about our wonderful MES students at SRES, before I head out for ISSRM on the weekend.

  • Jennifer Yakamovich, who is studying environmental art with Tarah Wright (I’m only a committee member) has curated a visual art show at the Dalhousie Art Gallery with some of her research participants, called Nature as Communities. DalNews did a nice profile on her work.
  • Jaya Fahey, who I’ve been working with on Space to Roost, collaborating with beach users to share beaches with migrating shorebirds, today shared a short documentary that features the project, Sharing the Coast with Shorebirds.
  • Finally, Ellen Chappell presented this morning at Energy Research & Social Science, in Tempe, Arizona, about her survey-based Masters work on utilitarian landscape change and renewable energy in the Chignecto. She’ll be first in her cohort to defend June 17.

Brava, everyone!

Climate-resilient coastal natural infrastructure workshop

Canada's Climate Change Ambassador, Patricia Fuller

Canada’s Climate Change Ambassador, Patricia Fuller (Photo @tcadaptations)

I spent most of this week at an excellent workshop organized by TransCoastal Adaptations, a group led by Danika van Proosdij at Saint Mary’s that I’m aligned with via the Making Room for Movement project. Attendees came from across Canada and the US from academe but also government, NGOs, consulting and other practitioners, and instead of most conferences where those fragment across parallel sessions, the entire event was held in plenary style. This led to wonderfully rich conversations around the shared challenges we faced as members or stakeholders of the Cold Regions Living Shorelines Community of Practice. I met engaged folks from West Coast Environmental Law, White Point Lodge, Helping Nature Heal, Nature Conservancy, Kensington North Watersheds Association, Army Corps of Engineers, CBCL Consulting, and the Geological Survey of Canada, to name just a few, and had the rare opportunity to have dinner with Patricia Fuller, Canada’s Climate Change Ambassador.

Many definitions and synonyms of ‘nature-based’ were discussed, and I noted the tendency of the conversation toward ‘holding the line’ naturally rather than changing what we do behind that line, however green and/or fuzzy it is. Danika and I co-led a session on the communication dimensions where I called for empathy around the challenges that people face talking about retreat and other significant adaptations. We also presented our OECD case study, which prompted a discussion about how communication can be unpredictable. One person volunteered that instead of telling citizens what needs to be done, Surrey found it is best to show them the data and let them discover what needs to be done, then they own it. A Clean Foundation program manager talked about how they approached a First Nations community looking for sites to restore to salt marsh, but heard back about values to restore (such as specific plants). The Ecology Action Centre found that attendance at meetings varies dramatically depending on how recently adverse events have been experienced in the location. There is much more work to be done on best practices in this space. We are looking forward to contributing to the conversation after our focus groups in coming months.

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