Kate Sherren

Landscapes - People - Global change

Category: Agriculture (page 1 of 20)

Chapter out on resilience and HM

Archtypal land sparing in the Australian southeastern grazing landscape.

Archetypal land sparing in the southeastern Australian grazing landscape.

Back in 2014 colleagues at Leuphana and I had a chapter accepted in a volume of Ecological Reviews on Agricultural Resilience: perspectives from ecology and economics. I’m delighted to be able to report that the volume is finally published, five years later. Our chapter looks at the resilience implications of land sharing and land sparing, using as a case study the southeastern sheep-wheat belt where co-author Joern Fischer and I did our postdocs back at ANU in the late 2000s.  We compared grazing archetypes of land sparing (fencing out dense woodlands for protection while continuously grazing the rest; see above) and land sharing (farmers using HM, who grazed intensively and rotationally pretty much everywhere on their farms, supporting scattered trees and their recruitment but few dense woodlands; see below). The resilience implications of these options are analyzed, integrating ecology, economics and social dimensions, and consistent with where the broader sharing/sparing debate has settled, reached the conclusion that a diversity of approaches is needed for system-wide sustainability.

Archetypal land sharing in the Australian southeastern grazing landscape, thanks to HM

Archetypal land sharing in the southeastern Australian grazing landscape thanks to HM to the left of the fence.

Some of my favourite parts of the chapter are the sample quotes included on the social challenges of adopting HM practices that draw from my 2008 photo-elicitation interviews with graziers across a range of practices. They speak to the mundane yet powerful barriers of change that come from our need for relationships and respect: for instance,  not having anything to talk to conventional farmers about at BBQs (“what will I open with?”), or having people think they’ve “lost the plot” and feeling the pressure after HM training to “go like a sheep and follow the rest” rather than convert. Such pressures align with some of what we’re hearing from HM trainers, too.

New paper: conceptual mapping of Instagram

The second paper from Yan Chen’s MES thesis is now out in Society and Natural Resources, Leveraging social media to understand younger people’s perceptions and use of hydroelectric energy landscapes. It is a research note demonstrating the utility of manual coding and conceptual mapping of a year of Instagram images around two hydroelectricity sites to predict how changes might affect young residents. Unlike her first thesis paper in Landscape and Urban Planning, which carried out spatial mapping of value ‘hotspots’–a method widespread in today’s growing literature on cultural ecosystem services–this paper makes statistical links between features, activities and values conveyed through Instagram. The diagrams provide insight to the lifestyle and emotions associated with different landscape features, some changeable with hydro development or removal, and informs our new work on conservation culturomics for social impact assessment. Yan continues to drive this work as an IDPhD student. Congratulations, Yan.

Biodiversity in 4H

The Shu-Mil 4H Club at Shubenacadie Wildlife Park.

The Shu-Mil 4H Club at Shubenacadie Wildlife Park.

The Shu-Mil 4H Club at Burntcoat Head.

The Shu-Mil 4H Club at Burntcoat Head.

Enjoyed reading a newletter profile on MREM alum Seonaid MacDonell (currently at Farm Safety Nova Scotia) about her successful year starting up a Biodiversity project with 4H Nova Scotia. She put to work the biodiversity content developed for club leaders by Simon Greenland-Smith and I funded by ECCC and their SARPAL program and supported also by Glen Parsons at DLF.  It is very satisfying to see these kids enjoying learning about biodiversity with such an energetic young leader. I’m grateful to Seonaid, and look forward to hearing about year two! If there is enough support across the clubs we hold out hope this can become a regular offering.

Wes at Leverage Points

Graphic mind map of our session at Leverage Points 2019.

Graphic mind map of our session at Leverage Points 2019.

Wes at Leverage Points 2019

Wes at Leverage Points 2019

Had some FOMO last week as the Leverage Points meeting was happening in Lueneburg, Germany, led by friends and colleagues like Joern Fischer and Dave Abson. Teaching term did not provide me the space, but Wes Tourangeau attended to talk about our work on grazing in the Falklands, and the idea of Savory’s Holistic Management as a leverage point. We were placed in the ‘transforming food systems’ panel, despite the Falklands agriculture being focused on wool, but Wes reported strong engagement and good feedback to help us polish up those papers. The ‘handmade’ feel of the conference with graphic facilitation of keynotes, session-based mind mapping and cardboard signage, demonstrates the desire to do things differently. By all accounts, it worked.

Busy thursday

Danika gets things started, NRCan Making Space for Movement meeting, SMU, January 24, 2019

Danika gets things started, NRCan Making Space for Movement meeting, SMU, January 24, 2019

Waiting for Kristine Dahl's defense to start, January 24, 2019

Waiting for Kristine Dahl’s defense to start, January 24, 2019

« Older posts

© 2019 Kate Sherren

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑