Yesterday and today I’ve been enjoying participating in an OECD expert workshop on Resilience and the Ocean-Climate Nexus, an initiative of their new horizontal programme. This was cohosted by the Portuguese delegation to the OECD. I was invited to share experiences from Nova Scotia in a panel on OECD country experiences on ocean climate impacts and resilience, allowing me to update the Truro dyke realignment case study I led for the OECD volume Responding to Rising Seas a few years ago and talking about some more recent developments like the Coastal Protection Act. My co-panelists brought more national (Vasco Becker-Weinberg of Portugal on Marine Spatial Planning and the law), and international perspectives (Georg Borsting of Norway on the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy). Our discussion across these scales was productive and stimulating. I was glad for the opportunity to bring a coastal and social perspective to this event, with an RSVP list of over 260 people from 58 different countries, many of them practitioners or from government.
It has been a busy week or so, but as the snow gets flying for our first big storm of the winter season here in Halifax, I have a little time to breathe and acknowledge some of end-of-term milestones among other things.
- Last Friday, Dec 11, Kiana Endresz presented her final MMM project which was funded by ResNet to explore the nearshore fisheries implications of salt marsh restoration. Two ResNet partners led this work: John Brazner of the NS Dept of Lands and Forestry was her supervisor, and she also carried out an internship with CBWES, where Tony Bowron supported her pilot test to explore incoming and outgoing fish using fyke nets.
- On Monday, Dec 14, Krysta Sutton defended her MES thesis, titled Understanding perceptions of coastal climate change and nature-based coastal adaptation: Using communicative framing in experimental focus groups in Nova Scotia, Canada. Thanks to Liette Vasseur (Brock) for being her external examiner, and Lisa Berglund (Dalhousie, School of Planning) for serving as her committee member.
- Today, Dec 17, Dorothy Okene presented her MREM project results, The well-being of adaptive graziers: A look at Canadian beef farmers. Dorothy joined the end of the Reconciling HM project this past summer to code up the free text components of the end-of-grant survey run with ranchers last winter. Congratulations to all the MREM students who finished up this week, including my other advisees Brittany Bonapace, Shannon Hicks and Dan Phillips.
Finally, I had to step away from MREM presentations today to do a call-in show on CBC Radio 1 called Maritime Noon, inspired by the publication of a new photography book by H. M. Scott Smith, Planet Digby. His macro shots of ships hulls and reflections evoke landscapes and he imagines them as foreshadowing the novel landscapes of climate change. Callers were invited to talk about what changes they are seeing from climate change. Some interesting observations were made by callers about the long-term responsibility for the armoring material being used that is changing many shorelines, the need for a two-eyed seeing approach, and the future of the Tantramar Marsh. Great to meet some engaged Canadians on the radio. Have a listen here (starts 17:20).
Yesterday we had the first workshop for ResNet Landscape 1 team, facilitated by ResNet Theme 1 (see above), in combination with our quarterly team call. We achieved an interesting set of break-out discussions on issues of ecosystem services in landscape 1 and as an integrative opportunity in research.
The quarterly call also featured a one-hour student symposium chaired by SMU MA student Brandon Champagne, where we heard from a dozen ResNet-affiliated students from Dalhousie, SMU, and Acadia about their research, including some early results from the field season now almost behind us. Two of those presenting students were Evan McNamara and Terrell Roulston, both SMU students in Jeremy Lundholm’s EPIC lab. Evan is pictured below doing some recent knowledge mobilization about their pollination ecosystem services work with participating farm owners and workers at Abundant Acres, where they did some of their fieldwork this past summer. Great work, everyone!
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.
Impressed by an editorial written for the Chronicle Herald by my PhD student Bernard Soubry, who has taken time from his final writing process to return to farm labour here in Nova Scotia. The editorial, COVID-19 shows what’s wrong with how Canada feeds itself, is a passionate and well-informed hit on Canada’s food system and dearth of adaptation plans. He writes:
But here’s a truth that researchers and rural communities have known for a long time: the food system in Canada doesn’t have a problem because of COVID-19. The food system is the problem.
On August 6, Bernard spoke to CBC Halifax’s Information Morning about his editorial; you can listen to that here.