Kate Sherren

Landscapes - People - Global change

Category: research output (page 1 of 15)

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 Wildlife, Beyond 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.

Keynoting ISSRM

Really honoured to have been asked by IASNR to keynote this year’s ISSRM meeting after it was moved online. While I would love to be sitting around with my colleagues in Cairns, Australia, the originally planned host city, I’m so far enjoying the online presentations and live Q&A engagement. My keynote synthesizes my work on climax thinking, drawing insights from the work of MES students Kristina Keilty, Ellen Chappell and Krysta Sutton in contexts as diverse as potential dam removal, wind energy, and coastal adaptation. I am looking forward to the live Q&A for the keynote session on Wednesday morning, and the rest of the conference as it rolls out over the next two weeks.

Pre-ordering open for Energy Impacts book

New edited volume cover

New edited volume cover

Excited to see that the new edited volume by Jacquet, Haggerty and Theodori, Energy Impacts, A Multidisciplinary Exploration of North American Energy Development, is finally available for pre-order. This book has come out of a US NSF-funded grant held by the editors, which provided the opportunity for a great symposium as well. I workshopped climax thinking at the symposium in Ohio back in 2017, and subsequently submitted my original framework chapter, From climax thinking toward a non-equilibrium approach to public good landscape changeto the resulting book, and so have been getting a little impatient for its release. John Parkins and I also submitted a methodological piece on Q-methodology across scales. It is good news to finally learn that the book will be available for download or shipping later in 2020. While my chapter is not limited at all to impacts in energy, the ideas first emerged while working on the Mactaquac dam and headpond back in the mid 2010s. Nice that this is out around the same time that I’m delivering a keynote at ISSRM 2020 (online) about climax thinking and the empirical work that has been done since I wrote this chapter.

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.

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