Kate Sherren

Landscapes - People - Global change

Tag: climate adaptation (page 2 of 3)

Funding for sustainable grazing research

I am excited about my incoming 2017 complement of graduate students, but have one last gap to fill, whether for Masters (MES) or PhD. I’m looking for someone to contribute to my SSHRC-funded Insight Grant on adaptive grazing and climate change. Much of the field-based research for that grant is being led from the University of Alberta by grant collaborators John Parkins and Ed Bork. The work being based in Halifax is focused more on policy, training and scholarly discourse around sustainable grazing. A range of topics are available to align with a range of student backgrounds and interests: information management, political science, anthropology, sociology, public administration, education, agricultural extension. Methods could range widely from discourse analysis, social network analysis, cognitive mapping, Q-methodology, surveys, interviews, bibliometrics, and program evaluation techniques. If any of the above sounds like you and you have an interest in applied research, experience with independent scholarship (first-authored papers if applying for a PhD), and a strong GPA, get in touch to discuss mutual interests.

Blast from my Southern past

Me with Mark Kulp, UNO geologist and oil spill expert, near Herring Cove, NS.

Me with Mark Kulp, UNO geologist and oil spill expert, near Herring Cove, NS.

Thrilled to spend half of my day with my old friend and colleague from New Orleans, geologist Mark Kulp. Mark has been bringing his expertise to the front lines of coastal disasters over the last few decades: first, the steep trajectory of Louisiana coastal wetland loss and the subsequent devastation of Hurricane Katrina; and then the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, where he ran one of the SCAT triage teams to assess damage and plan response and is still tied up with expert opinion around the subsequent litigation. It is the oil spill work that brings him north, on a trip to discuss remediation options around oil spills, including a field trip to the Arrow, wrecked in 1970 off Isle Madame with a payload of Bunker C crude oil (only recently removed). Great to hear news of shared friends and learn about the online Coastal Processes, Hazards and Society course he has been developing with colleagues at UNO, Penn State and Shippensburg. We hit the Armview and Pavia at Herring Cove, both highlights on the fringe of the Halifax Peninsula.

Fun week of workshops

I seem to be giving bad news to Joyce and Simon from WWF on the HCV maps behind, as Beckley observes . Maybe I was, a little. (photo: Sarah Saunders, WWF Canada).

I seem to be giving bad news to Joyce and Simon from WWF on the HCV maps behind, as Beckley looks on. Maybe I was, a little. (photo: Sarah Saunders, WWF Canada).

Last week, with winter marks submitted, launched the workshop and conference season. Monday I spent all day in the marvelous new Halifax Central Library with a range of government, academic and NGO experts interested in agricultural risk management in the face of climate change. We workshopped AgriRisk research grant proposal ideas, well provisioned by Pavia. Then I hopped into the car with recent MREM alumna Sarah Saunders, now a tidal energy specialist at WWF Canada based in Halifax, to drive to New Brunswick for a meeting on the Saint John River. Organizer Simon Mitchell, WWF Canada’s Saint John River Advisor, always picks great meeting places, this time the Brundage Point River Centre in Grand Bay-Westfield, north of Saint John. That Tuesday meeting was to troubleshoot the first maps out of the Habitat Friendly Renewable Energy Mapping Project. WWF Canada uses the HCV system to identify constraints to development – high conservation value – which has 6 elements including social value and community needs. Those people-oriented maps were almost empty, prompting lots of suggestions from me and my Energy Transitions colleagues Tom Beckley and Louise Comeau, also in attendance. A thoroughly fun day for nerds like us, but I particularly enjoyed taking the long way home, across the Westfield ferry and up the Kingston Peninsula – entirely worth the extra half hour.

Lab scholarship news

Great news in this scholarship season for my group: Incoming MES applicant Farzana Karim and Ruoqian Wang both won Masters Nova Scotia Graduate Scholarships (NSGS; $10K p.a. renewable x 2), also held by second-year MES Yan Chen. Incoming Interdisciplinary PhD applicant Kate Thompson won a PhD-level NSGS ($15K p.a. renewable x 4). Beyond that, first-year MES Taylor Cudney has won a federal SSHRC graduate scholarship to support her second year ($17.5K). This is all great news for these well-deserving recipients, and for lab finances. Research in coastal climate adaptation, agricultural land fragmentation, urban ecosystem services, and energy landscape research are all getting a welcome boost. Brava to all.

Wetlands and Climate Change

The view of the Sprott wind farm from the Amherst Ducks Unlimited office driveway.

The view of the Sprott wind farm from the Amherst Ducks Unlimited office driveway.

I enjoyed getting out of the office last week to Moncton and Amherst. In Moncton I attended a Climate Change Adaptation and Infrastructure meeting sponsored by the Climate Change departments of the Atlantic Province governments with NRCan funding. This year’s meeting was on infrastructure, and included participants including engineers, planners, NGOs, decision-makers and researchers on discussions of infrastructure renewal in the face of climate challenges. While being disappointingly light on social science – clearly infrastrcture change can have significant social implications, viz wind farms, hydro dams and dykelands – it was a great networking opportunity. Lots of SRES alumni and other people I had been hoping to connect with on other matters.

I spent that evening in Sackville, connecting with colleagues from Mount Allison University. The next morning I spent at Ducks Unlimited Canada’s Amherst office, talking to the Atlantic region Outreach through Events committee about conservation messaging, supporter engagement and program evaluation. We hope to do some Mitacs-funded research with them this summer around youth engagement. A particularly funny point was some remedial education via YouTube of one of the committee members who was unfamiliar with the term ‘hoser‘.

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