Kate Sherren

Landscapes - People - Global change

Category: cultural landscapes (page 1 of 9)

Coverage on The Freshwater Blog

Supplemental figure from Jaric et al. 2020 in PLOS biology that disentangles the concepts of iEcology and Culturomics.

Supplemental figure from Jarić et al. 2020 in PLOS biology that disentangles the concepts of iEcology and Culturomics.

Thanks to writer Rob St. John for authoring a post on The Freshwater Blog about our new  article in PLOS biology about iEcology and conservation culturomics for aquatic applications. I was happy to be featured in this post, and especially to have the opportunity to talk about my work with Yan Chen, former MES, current IDPhD and also paper co-author.

MES opportunity for fall 2020 or 2021

** This position has now been filled **

I am still looking for an MES student to work on Mi’kmaw cultural ecosystem services in Bay of Fundy dykelands and salt marshes, starting either fall 2020 or 2021. This will explore how Mi’kmaq use and value the drained agricultural land (dykelands) and the salt marshes they replaced (and to which sections will return if abandoned or realigned). This student will become part of the Atlantic landscape case of NSERC ResNet, a national collaborative project designed to develop the utility of ecosystems service approaches for resolving complex resource decisions. Candidates should be socially curious, ideally trained in social science fields (e.g. first degrees in Geography, Environmental Studies, Sociology, Anthropology, Planning, etc.) and interested in qualitative methods such as semi-structured interviews, ethnography, photo or map elicitation, etc. First Nation students are particularly encouraged to apply for this, but all applications are welcome. Our partner, Mi’kmaw Conservation Group, is offering the opportunity to embed within their organization to improve community integration, regardless of background. Email me if you are interested.

New paper: dykelands vs. marshes on Instagram

Clusters of landscape, cultural ecosystem services and demographics associated with Instagram images in Chen et al 2020

Clusters of landscape, cultural ecosystem services and demographics associated with Instagram images in Chen et al 2020

As decision-makers tackle the challenge of adapting Bay of Fundy dykelands to climate change, they need to understand who uses and values dykelands and salt marshes, and for what. This new paper in Ocean and Coastal ManagementComparing cultural ecosystem service delivery in dykelands and marshes using Instagram: A case of the Cornwallis (Jijuktu’kwejk) River, Nova Scotia, Canada, used four months of geocoded Instagram data to understand the cultural ecosystem service (CES) tradeoffs that might result from removing/realigning dykes and restoring salt marshes where dykelands can’t be sustained.  Dykelands provide a much wider set of CES for a wider demographic than do marshes for this set of social media users. However, a big surprise is that while salt marshes were present in many photos they were not named as such; users spoke only about the dykes and dykelands behind those marshes. As such, the marsh CES in the dataset came from visitors to an impounded freshwater wetland trail which is a local attraction walkable from the downtown centre of Kentville. Many of the messages triangulate well with the 2016 online Q survey I ran with Nova Scotians about the same topic and the paper provides another nice case study as to the utility of social media data for social impact assessment.  One of the really great things about this paper is that it is a real ‘lab’ output. The work was initiated as a follow-up to that 2016 study and to inform the new ResNet work when I knew Camille was going to be joining as an intern from AgroCampus Ouest. PhD student Yan collected a few months of Instagram posts for Camille to analyze with her help, postdoc Tuihedur helped with statistics, and then Yan picked it up again to write up after Camille went back to France. I’m proud of this paper and this collaborative team.

Nine weeks in

Morning walk on the Northwest Arm, with companion boy.

Morning walk on the Northwest Arm, with companion boy.

Nine weeks into isolation, sequestered at home with family, has been a mix of pleasure and pain. One of the nicer bits has been morning walks with my kids on nice days, skipping stones and finding modest treasure. This last is hard to come by on the armored shore around Regatta Point, but the place still holds some mysteries, particularly during very low-tide days. Revealed are old stumps, wooden culverts, rusted equipment and runaway items from the yacht club opposite. Add in the keening and clattering of the weather-wrapped yachts on a windy day, which is downright eerie, and it’s kid heaven.

Lots to find at low tide in Melville Cove

Lots to find at low tide in Melville Cove

A tiny mine tantalizes the mind.

A tiny mine tantalizes the mind.

 

Climax thinking on the Tantramar

Images of landscape change in the Tantramar/Chignecto used in research led by Ellen Chappell

Images of landscape change in the Tantramar/Chignecto used in research led by Ellen Chappell

Thrilled today to see Ellen Chappell’s first MES paper out in Landscape and Urban Planning, the pre-eminent journal for landscape research, titled ‘Climax thinking, place attachment, and utilitarian landscapes: Implications for wind energy development‘. She explored the natural experiment that happened in the Tantramar/Chignecto area on the isthmus between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia when the Radio Canada International towers came down around the same time as the Sprott Wind Farm went up (images d and e, opposite). She used climax thinking theory in a randomized population mailout survey to understand how residents of the area experienced the loss of utilitarian infrastructure, much of which is now only vestigial, and the addition of wind turbines. Attachment to such infrastructures was not correlated with place attachment or time in place, surprisingly. It turned out that conservatives and males are most attached to that utilitarian infrastructure of the past–they were well established in their ‘climax landscape’–but also that people could acquire attachment to wind turbines in a similar way. Those with higher climax thinking (in terms of attachment to those vestigial utilitarian features) who could see wind turbines from their home currently were more supportive of more wind energy. So, as we found last year in a national survey, exposure to energy infrastructure is an important leverage point to renewable energy support.

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