Bravo to my Environmental Science Honours students Samantha Howard and Andrew Willms, who presented yesterday at the Science Atlantic Environment Conference. Not only that, but they impressed the judges. Andrew’s presentation on human-bear conflict in Nova Scotia brought home the Acadian award for best presentation on Acadian flora or fauna, and Samantha’s presentation on perceptions of flood risk mapping in Southwestern Nova Scotia was runner up for best undergraduate presentation!
I noted a few ResNet names among the abstracts presented at Science Atlantic events, too, to similarly impressive end. Elise Rogers presented on sediment composition in restoring salt marshes, and Makadunyiswe Ngulube on the protection wetland vegetation can provide Bay of Fundy coasts by dissipating wave energy. Maka won the best undergraduate presentation! Evan McNamara and Terrell Roulston also presented their pollinator work at a parallel Science Atlantic event on Aquaculture, Fisheries and Biology, and Terrell won the Botany prize! Bravo, everyone!
I had a bit of fun last week developing an introductory exercise for my students in Qualitative Data Analysis using the database of MES titles since 1980. The final task was to produce word clouds and I couldn’t resist doing one for all the students that I supervised. Yup: understanding landscape perceptions is a pretty good summary.
Word cloud of titles of MES theses I’ve supervised at SRES
Figures 1 and 3 from the new Bennett et al (2021) paper, contrasting a healthy agricultural landscape with one subject to negative trends discussed in the paper: (A) the influence of global corporations on decision-making, (B) increased use of technological and other inputs, (C) loss of diversity of farm types, (D) loss of nonfood ecosystem services, (E) crops consumed in far-away places, (F) Changes in the amount and mixture of ecosystem services provided to people, (G) local systems that are disconnected from their resource base, and (H) fewer people involved in decision-making.
The first big synthesis paper from NSERC ResNet is out today in Advances in Ecological Research, Ecosystem services and the resilience of agricultural landscapes. Led by ResNet PI Elena Bennet, with 20 co-authors from the larger team across our agricultural landscape case studies and integrative themes, this paper assesses “how recent changes have interacted with agro-ecosystem features to result in a loss of resilience, and suggest[s] key research directions to help harmonize production and ecosystem function, drawing primarily on Canadian examples”. This also provides us a strong conceptual framework as we initiate our primary and scenario-based work over the next five years, including in the Bay of Fundy agricultural dykelands and tidal wetlands, the ResNet case study I’m co-leading.
The long-awaited Energy Impacts volume on my home office desk.
Excited to have my complimentary copy of Energy Impacts land yesterday, which includes my first articulation of climax thinking as well as a nice comparison of Q-method and survey Likert for understanding energy discourses across scales (co-authored with John Parkins). Patience is a virtue with edited volumes; this work was submitted and accepted back in 2017/2018 if I recall correctly. The volume is lovely, with great font, design and production values, which is wonderful to see as we are using the same publisher for Opening Windows, the next state-of-knowledge edited volume for natural resource social sciences (chapter call currently out). It wasn’t published quite in time for Christmas but I hope it finds a good audience.