This research began as part of a national collaborative study concerned with the social aspects of energy transitions, specifically how values, perceptions and knowledge among citizens drive their preferences and decision-making. It was first funded by a SSHRC Insight Grant to John Parkins (PI) at the University of Alberta (2012-2017), with me and Tom Beckley (UNB) as co-applicants. My particular interest in that grant was around hydroelectric landscapes, but I was also peripherally involved in the Q-method, NB citizen jury  and national survey elements discussed more on our Energy Transitions in Canada project website. I added some questions to our national energy survey to find relationships between exposure to energy installations and support for the respective technology, which suggest that noticing any energy infrastructure increases support for renewables (Sherren et al. 2019).

More recently, separate collaborative grants with John Parkins (University of Alberta) and Kirby Calvert, (Guelph), allowed me to continue research into renewable energy. John’s SSHRC provided operating funds to a shared student Ellen Chappell, who explored a natural experiment that played out in the Tantramar area when the Radio-Canada International towers came down around the same time as the Sprott Wind Farm went up. Her survey with local residents tested some dimensions of climax thinking and two papers resulted (Chappell, Parkins and Sherren 2020, 2021). Kirby’s funds are supporting Mehrnoosh Mohammadi’s award-winning work on amenity viniculture landscapes and renewable energy.


Sherren, K., Chappell, Ellen N., and Parkins, John R. (2021) Strategies for Integrating Quantitative Methods into Critical Social Acceptance Research, Chapter 2, pp 23-42, in A critical approach to the social acceptance of renewable energy infrastructures, Susana Batel and David Rudolph (Eds), Palgrave-Macmillan.

Chappell, Ellen N., Parkins John R., and Sherren, K. (2021) Those who support wind development in view of their home take responsibility for their energy use and that of others: evidence from a multi-scale analysis. Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning. [Download survey PDFs: Control Survey final, Experimental Survey Final]

Chappell, Ellen N., Parkins John R., and Sherren, K. (2020) Climax thinking, place attachment, and utilitarian landscapes: Implications for wind energy development. Landscape and Urban Planning, 199, 103802. [Download survey PDFs: Control Survey final, Experimental Survey Final]

Sherren, K.,  Parkins, John R., Owen, T., and Terashima, M. (2019), Does noticing energy infrastructure influence public support for energy development? Evidence from a national survey in Canada, Energy Research & Social Science, 51: 176-186.

Research trainees

Mehrnoosh Mohammadi is an MES candidate who is working on renewable energy transitions in amenity grape landscapes in Nova Scotia and Ontario, funded by the Nova Scotia Graduate Scholarships and SSHRC project funds (Calvert PI).

Ellen Chappell (MES 2019) worked on wind energy transitions in the Tantramar area of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, funded by a SRES Legacy Scholarship, an NSGS, a SSHRC Graduate Scholarship and SSHRC project funds (Parkins PI).

Taylor Owen was funded by the Dalhousie SRES Godsoe Scholarship and SSHRC (Parkins PI) to analyze our 2014 national survey data to explore the relationship between exposure to energy infrastructure and support (or not) of such techologies.