My panel lineup on April 13 at the OECD expert workshop on Resilience and the Ocean-Climate Nexus
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.
** This position has now been filled **
I am still looking for an MES student to work on Mi’kmaw cultural ecosystem services in Bay of Fundy dykelands and salt marshes, starting either fall 2020 or 2021. This will explore how Mi’kmaq use and value the drained agricultural land (dykelands) and the salt marshes they replaced (and to which sections will return if abandoned or realigned). This student will become part of the Atlantic landscape case of NSERC ResNet, a national collaborative project designed to develop the utility of ecosystems service approaches for resolving complex resource decisions. Candidates should be socially curious, ideally trained in social science fields (e.g. first degrees in Geography, Environmental Studies, Sociology, Anthropology, Planning, etc.) and interested in qualitative methods such as semi-structured interviews, ethnography, photo or map elicitation, etc. First Nation students are particularly encouraged to apply for this, but all applications are welcome. Our partner, Mi’kmaw Conservation Group, is offering the opportunity to embed within their organization to improve community integration, regardless of background. Email me if you are interested.
I had forgotten about my interview with local journalist Moira Donovan until an email from a colleague alerted me that the documentary she produced for CBC’s Atlantic Voice aired this morning. The short (26 minute) documentary is called Breaching Tradition, and does a nice job of telling the story of the challenges facing Bay of Fundy dykelands. Collaborators Danika van Proosdij (SMU) and Tony Bowron (CBWES) are featured as well, and several residents of areas like Nappan and Advocate Harbour whose communities and livelihoods are threatened. Donovan also put together a CBC news article by the same name: Breaching tradition: Salt marshes replacing Nova Scotia’s dikes. This is the setting and challenging management context for the case study I am co-leading in a new 5-year national NSERC project called ResNet.
Now I know why everybody says I look like my brother.
Alison Auld and the folks over at our university communication group put together a nice piece on Sea Level Rise, featuring a number of Dal folks working in the space. My coastal research collaborator from Planning, Patricia Manuel, gets the main storyline, but the piece draws on several other projects including our new NSERC ResNet, which will focus on the Bay of Fundy dykelands. Not sure why they used black and white in the layout, as the painting I’m in front of in this picture is beautiful, but it’s a nice long-form article.
Coast-to-coast cream of the crop: Phil Loring, Brian Robinson, Anne Salomon, Evan Fraser and Elena Bennett all cramming slides for the NSERC SPG-N site visit at McGill back in Spring 2019.
The media blackout has finally been lifted, thanks to a whimper of a press release from NSERC, that our Strategic Partnership Grant for Networks led by Elena Benett at McGill was successful! This is the culmination of a few years of partnership formation, collaboration and grant-writing. NSERC ResNet, the short name for our “network for monitoring, modeling, and managing Canada’s ecosystem services for sustainability and resilience”, will advance Ecosystem Services (ES) as a framework for thinking and working across disciplines to make better decisions in this country. The project will apply ES to contentious production landscape issues across Canada, including the Atlantic case study I’m co-leading with Jeremy Lundholm and Danika van Proosdij on the Bay of Fundy dykelands. We’ve got great partners, and a very active case as the NS Department of Agriculture is already deciding which dykelands can and should be sustained, and which realigned and/or restored to salt marsh. This project will allow us to wrap a research programme around that ongoing work, and leverage experts across the country. I look forward to the next 5+ years with this exceptional team.