Yesterday and today I’ve been enjoying participating in an OECD expert workshop on Resilience and the Ocean-Climate Nexus, an initiative of their new horizontal programme. This was cohosted by the Portuguese delegation to the OECD. I was invited to share experiences from Nova Scotia in a panel on OECD country experiences on ocean climate impacts and resilience, allowing me to update the Truro dyke realignment case study I led for the OECD volume Responding to Rising Seas a few years ago and talking about some more recent developments like the Coastal Protection Act. My co-panelists brought more national (Vasco Becker-Weinberg of Portugal on Marine Spatial Planning and the law), and international perspectives (Georg Borsting of Norway on the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy). Our discussion across these scales was productive and stimulating. I was glad for the opportunity to bring a coastal and social perspective to this event, with an RSVP list of over 260 people from 58 different countries, many of them practitioners or from government.
I’m delighted by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), which I learned today is investing heavily into my research programme. Current ResNet MES student Emily Wells got a SSHRC Canada Graduate Scholarship – Masters, as well as incoming ResNet MES student Elizabeth Bray. Incoming MES student Samantha Howard has also won a SSHRC scholarship to work on my coastal adaptation/climax thinking research, and my four-year solo SSHRC Insight Grant on that topic was also successful. Thanks, SSHRC! I didn’t mean those things I said about you last year.
Several colleagues and I are excited to offer a lucrative PhD fellowship within the Tier 1 Ocean Graduate Excellence Network (OGEN), in collaboration with Canada’s National Research Council, with the topic of Understanding social license for nature-based coastal adaptation: a longitudinal culturomic approach. The successful candidate will be expected to enroll in Dalhousie’s Interdisciplinary PhD program (IDPhD) by Fall 2021, working with the team listed here, with funding of CAD$44,444 p.a. for up to 4.5 years. The project sits at the intersection of nature-based coastal adaptation, landscape culturomics, marine spatial planning, and social impact assessment/social license. We are now inviting applications for this fellowship, with first-round application review starting January 30th; later applications will be part of further review, if required, until filled.
Community members see and experience their landscapes in complex ways that shape how they perceive new options for coastal flood risk management. The political will to implement nature-based options will falter if the social dimensions of such options are not given equivalent attention to the technical dimensions. The student will take a longitudinal approach to understand trajectories of local experience and support over the course of a nature-based adaptation project such as coastal wetland restoration, using secondary datasets such as social and conventional media. The objectives will be both to develop and pilot replicable methods for understanding the social dimensions of nature-based systems implementation, and assist NRC in deepening its capacity for integrating social sciences and humanities scholarship in its own research projects. The research undertaken will thus also contribute knowledge applicable to the growing interdisciplinary challenges of building and sustaining climate-change resilient socio-ecological coastal systems.
The successful candidate will:
- Enroll in Dalhousie’s IDPhD program by September 2021, which has minimum entry requirements of A- (3.7) GPA at the senior undergraduate and graduate degree level, and IELTS requirement of 7.5 (or equivalent).
- The position will be suitable for a student with previous degrees in social science disciplines or interdisciplinary studies that include social science, and will have had some exposure to interdisciplinary or multi-disciplinary research programs. Disciplines include, but are not limited to, social geography, planning, information science, sociology and cultural anthropology, environmental studies, natural resources management, marine studies, among others.
- Students will be skilled in social science research methods, and ideally have experience in social impact assessment or social license research.
- Experience with IT including programming and systems work is an asset, but is not required, as the increased sophistication and usability of machine learning tools means leveraging this technology is a teachable skill.
- Success in writing of peer-reviewed journal articles (in English).
We are eager to diversify our team through this recruitment, so particularly invite applications from people whose identity or circumstances puts them in a position of being underserved in the academic context. Applications should be sent to me at email@example.com including the following in the order shown in a single PDF, with the subject line ‘OGEN application [SURNAME]’:
- A letter of interest (maximum two pages) that describes your background, your interest in the project, and your qualifications and capacity to carry it out effectively.
- Names and contact details for three potential referees.
- A c. v. (curriculum vitae)
- Unofficial transcripts from undergraduate and graduate study
The full job ad can be read here.
We are in a spate of MES thesis defenses in SRES, including three I’m implicated in. Two of those were committee roles for me: Marion Davies, who ably defended her work on climate-motivated eating on Nov 25, and Jennifer Yakamovich who defends this coming Dec 9 (being held in the Dalhousie Art Gallery, aligning with her topic on art and environmental education). I am particularly thrilled to have seen my supervisee, Farzana Karim, strongly defend her thesis this last Tuesday. She tackled the issue of second homes and short-term rentals in the context of climate change, particularly in coastal settings, and used two distinct methods: municipal planning surveys and GIS analysis. What began as an idea nobody was talking about has finished as an issue that many are talking about. So this is great timing to send this work out into the world. Congratulations, all.
Congratulations to Tuihedur for his first paper from the postdoctoral fellowship that sees him working across Dalhousie and Saint Mary’s, out today open access in Sustainability. He used his knowledge of the institutional literature to ground our existing case study of the North Onslow dyke realignment and salt marsh restoration project–first written as the Canadian chapter in an OECD report Responding to Rising Seas–and analyzed it through the lens of institutional entrepreneurship. This involved synthesizing the characteristics of such entrepreneurs from the literature, mapping the existing jurisdictional responsibilities around coastal management in Nova Scotia, and demonstrating how those responsibilities were leveraged in the flood-prone Truro area. Even in the absence of coastal protection legislation, three government departments were able to collaborate to create a new ‘way of doing things’ that served their own objectives with coastal adaptation and flood mitigation as a happy by-product.