Kate Sherren

Landscapes - People - Global change

Category: research impact (page 1 of 5)

OECD Coastal Adaptation Workshop

Everyone is eager to hear about the coastal protection policy in development.

Everyone is eager to hear about the coastal protection policy in development.

Fun with flood maps.

Fun with flood maps.

Over the past few months I’ve been leading the writing up of a recent dyke realignment and salt marsh restoration project in Truro for an OECD report called Responding to Rising Seas, due out in January 2019. Co-authors are those who designed and implemented the case study from Saint Mary’s University and CB Wetlands and Environmental Services. The Truro case study is one of four cases explored in the report; others are in the UK, Germany and New Zealand. We culminated that case study with an all-day workshop November 21 at SMU on ‘scaling up the insights’ from the Truro case study. Requested by NRCan, funded by Lisa Danielson of the OECD’s Paris office, and hosted by Danika van Proosdij at SMU, we had sessions on policy, financing, engineering and human dimensions. Thirty attendees joined from across all scales of government, NGOs, First Nations and the private sector (as well as a few academics, but that couldn’t be helped). The various conversations and interactions knitted together some previously isolated groups working in parallel, and it felt very much like a day well spent. We hope attendees felt the same way.

Research Star award

I learned yesterday that I won the ‘Research Star’ award for tenured profs in the Faculty of Management, based on 2017-2018 papers and grants, which was a nice follow-up to winning the ‘Rising Research Star‘ award for pre-tenure profs in 2014-2015. Thanks to the adjudication committee for this honour.

Highlighted in Rangelands

Rangelands has a nice feature called ‘Browsing the Literature’, in which a handful of leading rangeland researchers is asked: “If you could recommend one paper or book that you’ve read recently that everybody in rangeland science or management should read, what would it be?” I’ve just learned that in the December 2017 issue, USDA rangeland scientist Dr. David Toledo recommended my commentary from last year with Ika Darnhofer, Precondition for integration: In support of standalone social science in rangeland and silvopastoral research. He commented:

It has become increasingly evident that we cannot view natural resource issues without considering humans as part of the natural resource system. However, there is a disproportionate amount of research in natural science journals regarding the social sciences needed to implement any ecosystem changes. This paper discusses issues related to the integration of the social sciences with the natural sciences (or lack thereof) and highlights the potential contributions of the social sciences in providing critical insights for achieving real-world impact of natural science research.

Thanks to Dr. Toledo for the good press.

30 years of WHSRN, 3 for Space to Roost

MES student Jaya Fahey talks about shorebirds at the WHSRN 30 year celebration today at Evangeline Beach (photo: Richard Stern)

MES student Jaya Fahey talks about shorebirds at the WHSRN 30 year celebration today at Evangeline Beach (photo: Richard Stern)

Meanwhile, the signs have gone up at Avonport Beach for year three of Space to Roost.

Meanwhile, the signs have gone up at Avonport Beach for year three of Space to Roost.

Colleagues at Bird Studies Canada and Nature Conservancy Canada joined with other conservation groups today at Evangeline Beach at Grand Pre, Nova Scotia, to celebrate 30 years that the Minas Basin has been recognized by the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network (WHSRN) as a globally significant bird habitat. MES student and BSC intern Jaya Fahey was interviewed for local media. The timing is significant: it is the leading edge of the time that the area hosts millions of shorebirds migrating south from the Arctic. These birds need to eat and gain weight and above all rest, because the next step is a big one: three days swim over the ocean non-stop to South America … and they can’t swim! The signs have already gone up at Avonport (left) to recruit beach users to help us set aside high-tide resting beaches while the birds are here. This is year three of Space to Roost, the second using resting beaches. We have some indication already that these resting beaches reduce human disturbance; this year should help us fully understand their effectiveness.

New role on NS Biodiversity Council

St. Andrews Marsh, May 21, 2018.

St. Andrews Marsh, May 21, 2018.

Today is the International Day for Biological Diversity, and I’m pleased to announce I was appointed to the new Biodiversity Council for Nova Scotia. The other members are Dr Donna Hurlburt (Aboriginal Advisor at Acadia University, Mi’kmaq ecologist, and conservation biologist), Dr. Graham Forbes (Professor at UNB), and Peter Oram (Senior Environmental Specialist at GHD). From the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announcement press release:

The goals of the Council are:

  1. Identify strategic priorities for work, including regulations, under a Biodiversity Act,
  2. Identify knowledge gaps and provide advice on using the ecosystem approach to biodiversity conservation and sustainable use,
  3. Advise on approaches and priorities for research, data gathering, and management,
  4. Make recommendations to the Minister on emerging and evolving biodiversity issues.

 …

The Council’s work will include supporting the development of a Biodiversity Act, a project under the strategic priority “Our Natural Resources.” The purpose of the Act is to further enable Nova Scotia to improve the conservation and sustainable use of wild species and ecosystems in flexible and adaptive ways, address legislative gaps and manage emerging risks.

I’ve been working with DNR folks like Glen Parsons and John Brazner for years on social science about biodiversity conservation on farms, coasts and wetlands, and will be pleased to be of service.

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