Kate Sherren

Landscapes - People - Global change

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Recruiting for an OGEN PhD fellow in SIA/culturomics

Several colleagues and I are excited to offer a lucrative PhD fellowship within the Tier 1 Ocean Graduate Excellence Network (OGEN), in collaboration with Canada’s National Research Council, with the topic of Understanding social license for nature-based coastal adaptation: a longitudinal culturomic approachThe successful candidate will be expected to enroll in Dalhousie’s Interdisciplinary PhD program (IDPhD) by Fall 2021, working with the team listed here, with funding of CAD$44,444 p.a. for up to 4.5 years. The project sits at the intersection of nature-based coastal adaptation, landscape culturomics, marine spatial planning, and social impact assessment/social licenseWe are now inviting applications for this fellowship, with first-round application review starting January 30th; later applications will be part of further review, if required, until filled.

Community members see and experience their landscapes in complex ways that shape how they perceive new options for coastal flood risk management. The political will to implement nature-based options will falter if the social dimensions of such options are not given equivalent attention to the technical dimensions. The student will take a longitudinal approach to understand trajectories of local experience and support over the course of a nature-based adaptation project such as coastal wetland restoration, using secondary datasets such as social and conventional media. The objectives will be both to develop and pilot replicable methods for understanding the social dimensions of nature-based systems implementation, and assist NRC in deepening its capacity for integrating social sciences and humanities scholarship in its own research projects. The research undertaken will thus also contribute knowledge applicable to the growing interdisciplinary challenges of building and sustaining climate-change resilient socio-ecological coastal systems.

The successful candidate will:

  • Enroll in Dalhousie’s IDPhD program by September 2021, which has minimum entry requirements of A- (3.7) GPA at the senior undergraduate and graduate degree level, and IELTS requirement of 7.5 (or equivalent).
  • The position will be suitable for a student with previous degrees in social science disciplines or interdisciplinary studies that include social science, and will have had some exposure to interdisciplinary or multi-disciplinary research programs. Disciplines include, but are not limited to, social geography, planning, information science, sociology and cultural anthropology, environmental studies, natural resources management, marine studies, among others.
  • Students will be skilled in social science research methods, and ideally have experience in social impact assessment or social license research.
  • Experience with IT including programming and systems work is an asset, but is not required, as the increased sophistication and usability of machine learning tools means leveraging this technology is a teachable skill.
  • Success in writing of peer-reviewed journal articles (in English).

We are eager to diversify our team through this recruitment, so particularly invite applications from people whose identity or circumstances puts them in a position of being underserved in the academic context. Applications should be sent to me at kate.sherren@dal.ca including the following in the order shown in a single PDF, with the subject line ‘OGEN application [SURNAME]’:

  • A letter of interest (maximum two pages) that describes your background, your interest in the project, and your qualifications and capacity to carry it out effectively.
  • Names and contact details for three potential referees.
  • A c. v. (curriculum vitae)
  • Unofficial transcripts from undergraduate and graduate study

The full job ad can be read here.

Congratulations, Samantha

Selam Abdella, left, and Samantha Howard are co-winners of the inaugural Margaret R. Crickard Scholarship

Selam Abdella, left, and Samantha Howard are co-winners of the inaugural Margaret R. Crickard Scholarship

Exciting news today that Environmental Science Honours student Samantha Howard won one of the two inaugural Margaret R. Crickard Scholarships that celebrate the academic achievement and community involvement of International Development Studies (IDS) students (one of her majors). Very well deserved!

30% chance of snow

Leaving work, mid-way and almost home, Nov 3, 2020.

Leaving work, mid-way and almost home, Nov 3, 2020.

Every year, the first snow takes us by surprise here in Halifax. Today’s commute was an interesting one, thanks to a forecast of 30% chance of snow, and my choice of puffy vest, sneakers and short socks. Those without snow tires were similarly caught out. Happy to be home.

Hello, Welcome back, Goodbye, You’re still muted

Last in-person meeting with MES Krysta Sutton at Coburg Social, August 2020

Last in-person meeting with MES Krysta Sutton at Coburg Social, August 2020

It is that time of year again, but this time with a difference. I’m saying “Hello” to new students coming into our MES and MREM programs, and “Goodbye” to some heading off (like Krysta, above), and “Welcome back” to those returning from internships or fieldwork. I’m also saying a lot of “you’re still muted”, and perhaps more often having it said to me, as most of the above is happening online. I have a tepid relationship with much online technology, but right now I’m mostly grateful for it: the internet will allow us to continue doing what we love, working with students, despite a global pandemic. Occasionally, the internet also throws up a happy surprise, despite my shunning of Facebook, like the photo below, one of a few that landed in my inbox from an old university friend, of a Spring Break trip to Graceland in Memphis 25 years ago. So, “Hello, Welcome back, Goodbye” and, by the way, “You’re still muted.” Don’t worry, we’ll get the hang of it.

With Waterloo Engineers at Graceland, 1995

With Waterloo Engineers  Brent, Josh and two Jeffs, at Graceland, 1995

Dam removal in Europe

Esa Fahlen hosting an actual dam removal in Sweden as part of a Dam Removal Europe Webinar, Canada Day, 2020.

Esa Fahlen at an actual dam removal in Sweden as part of a Dam Removal Europe Webinar, Canada Day, 2020.

An interesting way to spend Canada Day morning is tuning into a Dam Removal webinar for practitioners from Dam Removal Europe. The real draw for me was the fact that they are crossing regularly to a live dam removal happening on the Marieberg Power Plant in the Mörrumsån river, Sweden. The removal is a collaboration with a power company, Uniper. Great panelists from the UK, France, US, Sweden as well as from the US where there is such a long history of dam removal. Good to see some discussion of sometimes contrasting cultural values as well as generous sharing of errors that advocates have learned along the way.

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