Kate Sherren

Landscapes - People - Global change

Tag: maps

ESRI Canada ‘App of the Month’

McNally's Ferry - erstwhile town and transportation infrastructure on the Saint John River, pre-Mactaquac Dam and today.

McNally’s Ferry – erstwhile town and transportation infrastructure on the Saint John River, pre-Mactaquac Dam and today.

Congratulations to MREM alum Larissa Holman, for news that our Before the Mactaquac Dam storymap was selected as ESRI Canada’s App of the Month for October (French version here).  Larissa worked with me back in 2015 supported by Energy Transitions (Parkins PI) SSHRC funding.  Larissa is now working with Ottawa Riverkeepers, and reports that her job:

… is a nice mix of keeping on top of projects, investigation work when someone reports pollution or odd activity on the river, working with some really wonderful and knowledgeable volunteers and the occasional canoe trip or boat ride out on the river.

A great alum story for a lovely fall day.

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.

Tectonic quilt

Students examining Tectonic Quilt, which they help to create with artist Ben Volta.

Students examining Tectonic Quilt, which they help to create with artist Ben Volta.

Becalmed in Philadelphia enroute to ISSRM, a highlight of my airport layover has been some time spent with the so-called Tectonic Quilt, an ink-on-paper public artwork collectively created by Ben Volta and local fifth grade students. The artists used country boundaries filled with abstracted national symbols and colours as overlapping puzzle pieces to reconstruct the continental shapes most of us find familiar. A close look causes consternation – are those watersheds? – and then surprise – is that New Zealand where Japan should be? Finally, however, it challenges this Geographer’s self-conception of familiarity with the globe. Plucked from their context, the shapes lose meaning. I think the students are suggesting perhaps our national differences should, too. I could take objection to the stars and stripes forming the ‘ocean’, connecting it all, but I think their heart is in the right place. There could be a wink here towards the notoriously poor knowledge of world geography of US citizens, especially youth. Frankly, I’m not feeling much more geographically literate, today. I couldn’t find Canada – maybe it was overlooked?

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