Conceptual diagram of believed ecosystem service flows, Figure 3 in Sherren et al. 2021.
The first output of the Landscape 1 case study of ResNet, the Bay of Fundy dykelands, is out this week in Facets, Canada’s open access science journal: Understanding multifunctional Bay of Fundy dykelands and tidal wetlands using ecosystem services—a baseline. We set out to understand ecosystem service flows from tidal wetlands and drained agricultural dykeland (former tidal wetland), as climate change forces a rethink of the dykeland system. This review covered papers, theses, reports, and drew in some cases on other jurisdictions where there was a dearth of local data. We uncovered some key gaps but also potential synergies in balancing the system for sustainability. Filling some of the gaps to inform decisionmaking is the undertaking that faces us in ResNet.
Kudos to IDPhD student Kate Thompson for her new paper that maps antecedents of the ecosystem services concepts in Canadian frameworks like Ecological Planning (McHarg), Urban Ecology (Hough), Ecological Land Classification, and Criteria & Indicators for Sustainable Forest Management. This paper was based on coursework with Peter Duinker during her first year, and it is nice to finally have it out in Early View in The Canadian Geographer: Ecosystem services: A new framework for old ideas, or advancing environmental decision-making? Learning from Canadian forerunners to the ES concept.
Jen Holzer of ResNet Theme 1 leads Landscape 1 through some facilitated discussions in the first ResNet workshop.
Yesterday we had the first workshop for ResNet Landscape 1 team, facilitated by ResNet Theme 1 (see above), in combination with our quarterly team call. We achieved an interesting set of break-out discussions on issues of ecosystem services in landscape 1 and as an integrative opportunity in research.
The quarterly call also featured a one-hour student symposium chaired by SMU MA student Brandon Champagne, where we heard from a dozen ResNet-affiliated students from Dalhousie, SMU, and Acadia about their research, including some early results from the field season now almost behind us. Two of those presenting students were Evan McNamara and Terrell Roulston, both SMU students in Jeremy Lundholm’s EPIC lab. Evan is pictured below doing some recent knowledge mobilization about their pollination ecosystem services work with participating farm owners and workers at Abundant Acres, where they did some of their fieldwork this past summer. Great work, everyone!
Evan McNamara showing pollinators to the team at Abundant Acres after the field season he and Terrell Roulston spent partly on that farm, Oct 3,2020 (Photo: Terrell Roulston).
** 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.
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.