Kate Sherren

Landscapes - People - Global change

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New paper: What drives support for wind development in sight of home?

Ellen Chappell’s second MES paper is out today in Journal of Environmental Policy and PlanningThose 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. This looks at predictors of support for wind development at three scales: generally/nationally, regionally (in the Chignecto area of NB/NS where the survey was implemented) and in view of respondents’ homes. The strongest predictors at that critical ‘home view’ scale was agreeing that seeing turbines remind them of the energy they use and that it has to be generated somewhere, and seeing energy as a commodity for potential export like any other. These are novel variables in the context of wind acceptability research, with interesting linkages to climax thinking, and we hope will inspire other researchers to expand the variables and scales they use.

New ResNet paper: Ecosystem services and the resilience of agricultural landscapes

Figures 1 and 3 from the new Bennett et al (2021) paper, contrasting a healthy agricultural landscape with one subject to negative trends discussed in the paper: (A) the influence of global corporations on decision-making, (B) increased use of technological and other inputs, (C) loss of diversity of farm types, (D) loss of nonfood ecosystem services, (E) crops consumed in far-away places, (F) Changes in the amount and mixture of ecosystem services provided to people, (G) local systems that are disconnected from their resource base, and (H) fewer people involved in decision-making.

Figures 1 and 3 from the new Bennett et al (2021) paper, contrasting a healthy agricultural landscape with one subject to negative trends discussed in the paper: (A) the influence of global corporations on decision-making, (B) increased use of technological and other inputs, (C) loss of diversity of farm types, (D) loss of nonfood ecosystem services, (E) crops consumed in far-away places, (F) Changes in the amount and mixture of ecosystem services provided to people, (G) local systems that are disconnected from their resource base, and (H) fewer people involved in decision-making.

The first big synthesis paper from NSERC ResNet is out today in Advances in Ecological ResearchEcosystem services and the resilience of agricultural landscapes. Led by ResNet PI Elena Bennet, with 20 co-authors from the larger team across our agricultural landscape case studies and integrative themes, this paper assesses “how recent changes have interacted with agro-ecosystem features to result in a loss of resilience, and suggest[s] key research directions to help harmonize production and ecosystem function, drawing primarily on Canadian examples”. This also provides us a strong conceptual framework as we initiate our primary and scenario-based work over the next five years, including in the Bay of Fundy agricultural dykelands and tidal wetlands, the ResNet case study I’m co-leading.

New survey in the field on perceptions of flood mapping

Survey notice that will start arriving in mailboxes next week

Survey notice that will start arriving in mailboxes next week

If you get a card that looks like this in your mail, please don’t ignore it. Environmental Science Honours student Samantha Howard is now waiting eagerly for responses to her survey invitation, which will start arriving in the mailboxes of Bridgewater and Liverpool, NS, early next week. She is interested to know how residents feel about the possibility of flood risk mapping being made publicly available for their property, perhaps even required as a disclosure during home sales or rental agreements.

We are sending this survey invitation out via a Canada Post admail postcard, to avoid multiple handling and any envelope licking at this time of COVID, which I have never tried before. We hope for a good response rate so Samantha can analyze the results statistically, and are grateful to those who are willing to give their time. The survey closes on February 14, to leave enough time for analysis and writing before Sam’s thesis is due the following month. There are 10 Tim Horton’s gift cards to be given away to respondents who decide to enter our draw at the end of the survey. The first 100 respondents have a 1 in 20 chance of winning a $20 card, the rest go into a draw for 5 $10 cards.

Opening Windows – Co-editing a new state-of-knowledge book

I’m excited to share that I am co-editing the next ‘state of knowledge’ book project for the field of natural resource social science with Gladman Thondhlana (Rhodes) and Douglas Jackson-Smith (Ohio State), with the support of the International Association of Society and Natural Resources (IASNR) as part of its Society and Natural Resources Book Series.  Our working title is Opening Windows: Emerging Perspectives, Practices and Opportunities in Natural Resource Social Sciences, and it will be published  with the Utah State University/University Press of Colorado in 2024 in line with the history of past decadal volumes of this type (Manfredo, 2004; Manfredo et al., 2014). Believe it or not, that means we need to start now, and so we’ve just launched the call for chapter proposals, due February 28th. We are inviting two different chapter types, Commentaries (1500-2000 words) and Reviews (5000-7000 words), but the review section invites some very particular threads, the first of which we are particularly excited about.

  • Global Insights. This chapter type is for reviews (written in English) predominantly of academic scholarship published in specific non-English languages.
  • Advances in Theory and Methods. This chapter type will explore how we are innovating in how we do our research, including in terms of:
    • Theoretical and conceptual issues: What are the contemporary theoretical tensions and emerging ideas guiding scholarship in society and natural resources?
    • New methods/methodologies: How do we operationalize key theoretical concepts?
  • Progress in Core and Emerging Problems. This chapter type summarizes the literature on classic problem domains for the field, as well as emerging ones.
  • Trends in Action and Application. This chapter type describes examples of how natural resource social science scholarship has (and has not) been used or translated into on-ground outcomes, by influencing how resource challenges are conceived of or tackled and with whom.

The idea for the Global Insights paper type came out of the ‘Standing on the Shoulders of Sameness‘ session on bias in publishing run at ISSRM 2019 in Oshkosh. We really want to open the doors in this volume to new voices and perspectives, consistent with the name of the volume, so hope that people help us spread the word widely about the call.

It has arrived!

The long-awaited Energy Impacts volume on my home office desk.

The long-awaited Energy Impacts volume on my home office desk.

Excited to have my complimentary copy of Energy Impacts land yesterday, which includes my first articulation of climax thinking as well as a nice comparison of Q-method and survey Likert for understanding energy discourses across scales (co-authored with John Parkins). Patience is a virtue with edited volumes; this work was submitted and accepted back in 2017/2018 if I recall correctly. The volume is lovely, with great font, design and production values, which is wonderful to see as we are using the same publisher for Opening Windows, the next state-of-knowledge edited volume for natural resource social sciences (chapter call currently out). It wasn’t published quite in time for Christmas but I hope it finds a good audience.

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