Kate Sherren

Landscapes - People - Global change

Category: research output (page 1 of 16)

It has arrived!

The long-awaited Energy Impacts volume on my home office desk.

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.

New paper: the Canadian roots of ES concepts

Kudos to IDPhD student Kate Thompson for her new paper  that maps antecedents of the ecosystem services concepts in Canadian frameworks like Ecological Planning (McHarg), Urban Ecology (Hough), Ecological Land Classification, and Criteria & Indicators for Sustainable Forest Management. This paper was based on coursework with Peter Duinker during her first year, and it is nice to finally have it out in Early View in The Canadian Geographer:  Ecosystem services: A new framework for old ideas, or advancing environmental decision-making? Learning from Canadian forerunners to the ES concept.

New paper in PLOS Biology

A re-thinking of the pre-dam Site C conceptual map from Yan Chen's Masters thesis, as used in this paper, accompanied by Google Earth imagery of the Site C dam site, 2012 and 2019 respectively.

A re-thinking of the pre-dam Site C conceptual map from Yan Chen’s Masters thesis, as used in this paper, accompanied by Google Earth imagery of the Site C dam site near Fort St. John, BC, in 2012 and 2019 respectively.

Thanks to Ivan Jarić, from the Biology Centre of the Czech Academy of Sciences, for inviting Yan Chen and I onto this interesting new paper out in PLOS Biology today, Expanding conservation culturomics and iEcology from terrestrial to aquatic realms. This geographically and disciplinarily diverse writing team led to many rich conversations and debates as the manuscript took shape. The idea was to differentiate the emerging field of iEcology from conservation culturomics, and advocate for their application in aquatic realms which have a dearth of data. Our work on advancing social impact assessment of hydroelectricity and dyke realignment using Instagram datasets provided one of the six key areas of application outlined in this paper.

New paper in Human Dimensions of Wildlife

The Motivation-Values Triangle advanced by Tourangeau et al. (in press) in Human Dimensions of Wildlife.

The Motivation-Values Triangle advanced by Tourangeau et al. (in press) in Human Dimensions of Wildlife.

This new paper has been a little while coming. The survey that we ran in relation to the Wood Turtle Strides program back in Spring 2017 was designed to help us understand whether introducing incentives for conservation into Nova Scotia would have any impact on motivations to do conservation. Already, many farmers in the region voice pretty strong support of biodiversity, using a discourse of ‘balance’. I wondered: if we start paying people to do it, will their more intrinsic motivations get ‘crowded out’? The size of the participant list involved in the program made this hard to answer definitively, but it certainly didn’t seem likely to crowd out conservation motivations for their neighbours to learn about the payments. That first paper came out last year in The Canadian Geographer.

Today, a new paper is out in Human Dimensions of WildlifeBeyond intrinsic: a call to combine scales on motivation and environmental values in wildlife and farmland conservation research, that emerged from a bit of a surprise in that data. The statements we used to measure motivation for carrying out riparian management were based on a well-used scale, but we discovered whenever we used the word ‘wildlife’, responses correlated strongly together. Then-postdoc Wes Tourangeau took this as a challenge and developed a theoretical recommendation about how to explore motivations in such situations, arguing that motivations are entangled with environmental values such as ecocentrism and thus both should be tested.

New paper on rangeland health and rotational grazing

Congratulations to Kristine Dahl for her new paper out in Rangeland Ecology & Management, Assessing variation in range health across grazed northern temperate grasslands. This work was funded by my SSHRC Insight Grant on sustainable grazing, and drew in Ed Bork at the University of Alberta who is an expert in rangeland systems. Based on rangeland health assessments and interviews across 28 cattle ranches in Alberta, this new paper provides some insight on how climate, pasture (native v. tame) and rotation interact. Grazing length had more impact on rangeland health than calculated stocking rates, with shorter grazing periods causing improvements in both tame and native pasture under aridity. There is also an indication that native grasslands grazed for shorter periods have lower weed prevalence and more litter, useful as mulch in dry conditions. Nice to see these relationships emerging across such a wide swath of Alberta (grassland, parkland/foothills and boreal) and in working rather than experimental conditions.

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