Landscapes - People - Global change

Tag: nature based coastal adaptation

New paper on coastal practitioner insights

Great to see a new paper out today, led by former postdoc H. M. Tuihedur Rahman, that synthesizes the insights of coastal practitioners in nature-based coastal adaptation in the province: Navigating Nature-Based Coastal Adaptation through Barriers: A Synthesis of Practitioners’ Narratives from Nova Scotia, Canada . This builds on the great partnerships that have emerged through TransCoastal Adaptations: Centre for Nature-based Solutions based at SMU, and comes out as a ‘practitioner-led knowledge’ paper at Society and Natural Resources.

OECD Resilience and the Ocean-Climate Nexus

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.

Recruiting for an OGEN PhD fellow in SIA/culturomics

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 approachThe 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 licenseWe 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 kate.sherren@dal.ca 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.

Institutional entrepreneurship paper

Institutional entrepreneurship in Nova Scotia dyke realignment and salt marsh restoration, illustrated.

Institutional entrepreneurship in Nova Scotia dyke realignment and salt marsh restoration, illustrated.

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.

OECD Rising Seas report release

OECD ad for new Rising Seas report

OECD ad for new Rising Seas report

Last summer I led the writing of a case study on an innovative coastal adaptation project underway in Truro, Nova Scotia, a place plagued by flooding for decades. A confluence of provincial department interests enabled collaboration on a dyke realignment and salt marsh restoration project in the absence of overarching climate adaptation or coastal protection policy. That case study was Canada’s contribution to an OECD report (featuring case studies also from New Zealand, Germany and the United Kingdom). That report , “Responding to Rising Seas: OECD Country Approaches to Tackling Coastal Risk“, was released this week with a webinar from Paris (slides here). I was proud that OECD’s Lisa Danielson, who also joined us in Halifax for our workshop on the case study last November, highlighted the Truro case during the session. The report features some excellent synthesis of learnings from the four case studies, as well as some novel analysis on cost-benefit ratios for adaptation action for the world’s coasts: sadly rural areas aren’t going to pay for themselves this way, so novel finance options will be needed.

OECD's Lisa Danielson speaks to the Truro case study at the Rising Seas webinar, March 6, 2019

OECD’s Lisa Danielson speaks to the Truro case study at the Rising Seas webinar, March 6, 2019

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