Bookending this week with pictures of my daily commute, which is quite a pleasure these days. It’s not just the lower traffic with people working at home, though that is nice, it’s that I’ve finally been able to get back to commuting on foot. The Halifax Regional Municipality changed the buffer distance for students to qualify for bussing this year down to 1.6 kms this year – we are 1.7 km from the school. So instead of spending 80 minutes in the car a day, waiting in long lineups to get through the bottlenecks at the Armdale Rotary and feeling like part of the problem, I’m spending 80 minutes walking, in part along the lovely and narrow Northwest Arm. The above is a view of the Arm from that self-same Rotary, harder to appreciate when jockeying traffic. I wonder how many other families could be using more active transportation if bussing were more widely available?
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.
Colleagues at Bird Studies Canada and Nature Conservancy Canada joined with other conservation groups today at Evangeline Beach at Grand Pre, Nova Scotia, to celebrate 30 years that the Minas Basin has been recognized by the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network (WHSRN) as a globally significant bird habitat. MES student and BSC intern Jaya Fahey was interviewed for local media. The timing is significant: it is the leading edge of the time that the area hosts millions of shorebirds migrating south from the Arctic. These birds need to eat and gain weight and above all rest, because the next step is a big one: three days swim over the ocean non-stop to South America … and they can’t swim! The signs have already gone up at Avonport (left) to recruit beach users to help us set aside high-tide resting beaches while the birds are here. This is year three of Space to Roost, the second using resting beaches. We have some indication already that these resting beaches reduce human disturbance; this year should help us fully understand their effectiveness.
Great to see the new Oceans display at the Discovery Centre, including a new touch tank (sorry, guys) popular with the kids. Even cooler was the substantive content on coastal adaptation options, whimsically implemented with Lego (above). Also really neat to see this slider-based exploration of salt marsh restoration versus strengthening dyke-based protection as coastal options (right). This felt very topical as our team plans for Coastal Zone Canada next week in St. Johns, where we are developing a workshop on ‘making space for movement’ by nature-based coastal adaptation options.