Kate Sherren

Landscapes - People - Global change

Category: Agriculture (page 1 of 17)

New paper on farm fragmentation

The variety of farm geographies in Nova Scotia, by number of parcels and time to drive across.

The variety of farm geographies in Nova Scotia, by number of parcels and time to drive across.

When I first started to do farm biodiversity research in Nova Scotia, after doing the same in Australia, I was surprised by how small and sometimes fragmented the farms were (see above). I wondered if that was a boon or a bust for farm biodiversity. Did having a contiguous farm make the farmer see it more as an ecosystem, and thus make them more likely to foster biodiversity, or did having a fragmented farm make the farmer set aside far-flung places for such purposes? Turns out fragmentation has no real impact on farm habitat provision; farm area does. Read about it at The Canadian Geographer.

Dykeland fieldtrip

Danika with Guelph students and professor Robin Davidson-Arnott, at the Windsor causeway tidegate.

Danika with Guelph students and professor Robin Davidson-Arnott, at the Windsor causeway tidegate.

Had a great day in the field with a group of undergraduates from Guelph on a field course to Nova Scotia led by human geographer and new collaborator Kirby Calvert, and physical geographer Robin Davidson-Arnott. We visited the Windsor causeway site, under discussion for the return of tidal flow, as well as the Grand Pre dykelands, Evangeline Beach to view migrating semi-palmated sandpipers, and finally to the lovely new Lightfoot and Wolfville vineyard for pizza and wine tasting. Especially great to get postdoc Tuihedur and incoming project MES student Krysta Sutton up to the dykelands before the term starts.

Postdoc Dr Tuihedur Rahman and new MES Krysta Sutton at the Windsor causeway.

Postdoc Dr Tuihedur Rahman and new MES Krysta Sutton at the Windsor causeway.

Cheverie reverie

A long weekend trip to the Noel Shore to see Burntcoat Head allowed a stopoff at Cheverie, the earliest dykeland to salt marsh restoration project in the area at about a decade old. Looking lush! Look forward to seeing some of our Making Space for Wetlands projects looking this way in a few years.

Looking the other direction at Cheverie, up the arm of restored salt marsh away from the Bay

Looking south at Cheverie, up the arm of restored salt marsh away from the Bay

The breached dyke wall at Cheverie and possibly old borrow pit.

Perhaps that is the breached dyke wall at Cheverie to right.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Funded Masters: Pairing wind and wine?

Vineyards and wind turbine. iStock credit: Petagar

Vineyards and wind turbine. iStock credit: Petagar

Happy to announce that thanks to recent success at the SSHRC Insight Development Grants, Dr. Kirby Calvert (PI) and I are looking for new graduate students for 2019 intake. Our project seeks to provide insight into the unique barriers and opportunities for renewable energy development in ‘high amenity’ (i.e., tourism-based) landscapes, such as wine-and-grape regions in Nova Scotia and Southern Ontario. Kirby and I are both Geographers by training, with interests in the spatial and social dynamics of rural landscape change. We expect to use a mix of methods in this work, including image-rich approaches for understanding discourse and stakeholder perceptions, possibly including social media and Q-method. Qualified and keen students should read the fuller description linked above, and get in touch with us. Nothing wrong with thinking well ahead for 2019; this opens candidates up to additional scholarship opportunities that often close in late fall.

New paper on HM trainers

Carolyn Mann’s first paper out of the HM project – Holistic Management and adaptive grazing: a trainers’ view – is online this morning at Sustainability, and open access. Ours is the first paper out in a special issue on Agroecology for the Transition towards Social-Ecological Sustainability. We just happened to have a draft ready when we heard about the special issue. Carolyn interviewed 25 HM or adaptive grazing trainers across Canada and the US to get a sense of how they see their training, and their trainees. Some interesting findings around gender, what it means to adopt, as well as the separability between the holistic planning and the specific grazing practices.

Next we developed a systems thinking statement concourse, in part using these interviews, and conducted Q-method online with 18 HM trainers and trainees to identify degrees and types of systems thinking. That paper is still in development, but a little teaser: gender again seems to play a role!

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