Kate Sherren

Landscapes - People - Global change

Tag: ResNet

Thanks, SSHRC!

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.

New ResNet paper: Ecosystem services and the resilience of agricultural landscapes

Figures 1 and 3 from the new Bennett et al (2021) paper, contrasting a healthy agricultural landscape with one subject to negative trends discussed in the paper: (A) the influence of global corporations on decision-making, (B) increased use of technological and other inputs, (C) loss of diversity of farm types, (D) loss of nonfood ecosystem services, (E) crops consumed in far-away places, (F) Changes in the amount and mixture of ecosystem services provided to people, (G) local systems that are disconnected from their resource base, and (H) fewer people involved in decision-making.

Figures 1 and 3 from the new Bennett et al (2021) paper, contrasting a healthy agricultural landscape with one subject to negative trends discussed in the paper: (A) the influence of global corporations on decision-making, (B) increased use of technological and other inputs, (C) loss of diversity of farm types, (D) loss of nonfood ecosystem services, (E) crops consumed in far-away places, (F) Changes in the amount and mixture of ecosystem services provided to people, (G) local systems that are disconnected from their resource base, and (H) fewer people involved in decision-making.

The first big synthesis paper from NSERC ResNet is out today in Advances in Ecological ResearchEcosystem services and the resilience of agricultural landscapes. Led by ResNet PI Elena Bennet, with 20 co-authors from the larger team across our agricultural landscape case studies and integrative themes, this paper assesses “how recent changes have interacted with agro-ecosystem features to result in a loss of resilience, and suggest[s] key research directions to help harmonize production and ecosystem function, drawing primarily on Canadian examples”. This also provides us a strong conceptual framework as we initiate our primary and scenario-based work over the next five years, including in the Bay of Fundy agricultural dykelands and tidal wetlands, the ResNet case study I’m co-leading.

ResNet is getting busy

Jen Holzer of ResNet Theme 1 leads Landscape 1 through some facilitated discussions in the first ResNet workshop.

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).

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).

MES opportunity for fall 2020 or 2021

** 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.

Atlantic Voice documentary

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.

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