Kate Sherren

Landscapes - People - Global change

Month: October 2017 (page 1 of 2)

National climate change assessment first author meeting

Attendees at the NRCan National Climate Change Assessment first authors meeting cluster 'hopes' and 'fears'.

Attendees at the NRCan National Climate Change Assessment first authors meeting cluster ‘hopes’ and ‘fears’.

I am at day two of the first author’s meeting for the new national climate change assessment, run by Natural Resources Canada. We have just finished writing our hopes and fears for the process and grouping them. Great to meet this fun and supportive team which will be working together until at least 2020.

Funded MES projects for fall 2018

Students who are interested in starting a thesis-based MES in my lab starting fall 2018 should start getting in touch now. Early applicants, if high quality, can be put forward for important scholarships like the Nova Scotia Graduate Scholarship program: its first round closes in late November.  I am looking particularly for students interested in the social perceptions and implications of energy installations such as wind and hydroelectricity. Backgrounds in sociology, art history, cultural studies, human geography, anthropology are particularly valuable for these roles, but the most important variables are interest and motivation:

  • One project will collaborate with me on a project led by John Parkins out of the University of Alberta, exploring wind energy transitions in Alberta. This research will include engagement with social media as a research tool (e.g. this), as well as quantitative surveys and possibly landscape visualization.
  • Another project is expected to be funded from a grant proposal currently under consideration, to explore the ways that images in social media and digital archives (e.g. newspapers) can help us understand the social impacts of hydroelectricity development over time, and if such insights differ significantly from those provided by conventional social science methods like surveys and interviews. Read this paper for more information.

If you think you have a good alignment with these topics, skills and backgrounds, please get in touch.

He sang Canada’s landscape

I have to take a moment to mourn the death yesterday of Tragically Hip lead singer (and so much more), Gord Downie. His voice and lyrics sang Canada into being for me, usually through the tape deck of my vehicle. Their 1987 EP sang Nackawic, NB, in my high school years: Smalltown BringdownUp to Here and Road Apples shaped late nights in Halifax and Waterloo, where I saw them in small university venues. Fully Completely landed in time for summers in Alberta, “driving down a corduroy road” in pick-up trucks At the Hundredth Meridian. Only singles penetrated my life later, like Bobcaygeon, but no less deeply, as I was working in Northern BC and exploring via logging roads on weekends. And then — a decade away in Australia where the Hip is unknown. I remember a trip home in the mid-noughties, visiting a friend in Revelstoke and hearing the Hip blasting from the house next door. Ahhhh, home.  I’m with Justin. Thanks, Gord.

The last dam paper (?)

New Brunswick, with dots representing survey respondents, coloured by their Mactaquac preference.

New Brunswick, with dots representing survey respondents, coloured by their Mactaquac preference.

Coincidentally, given the previous post, the last paper out of research that Energy Transitions in Canada undertook on the Mactaquac decision came out today in Water Alternatives. This new open source paper features both qualitative and quantitative analysis of a randomized proportional survey of 500 New Brunswickers implemented back in 2014, before the official public engagement campaign began in earnest. We compare the results of that survey against insights from our qualitative fieldwork with local residents, undertaken in 2013-2014. The paper describes how and why the local and provincial discourses came to align.  It is part of a special issue on dam removal, so thanks to co-editors Chris Sneddon, Régis Barraud, and Marie-Anne Germaine for their hard work on the collection.

ESRI Canada ‘App of the Month’

McNally's Ferry - erstwhile town and transportation infrastructure on the Saint John River, pre-Mactaquac Dam and today.

McNally’s Ferry – erstwhile town and transportation infrastructure on the Saint John River, pre-Mactaquac Dam and today.

Congratulations to MREM alum Larissa Holman, for news that our Before the Mactaquac Dam storymap was selected as ESRI Canada’s App of the Month for October (French version here).  Larissa worked with me back in 2015 supported by Energy Transitions (Parkins PI) SSHRC funding.  Larissa is now working with Ottawa Riverkeepers, and reports that her job:

… is a nice mix of keeping on top of projects, investigation work when someone reports pollution or odd activity on the river, working with some really wonderful and knowledgeable volunteers and the occasional canoe trip or boat ride out on the river.

A great alum story for a lovely fall day.

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