Kate Sherren

Landscapes - People - Global change

Halifax repeat photography

My final term project was on display in the NSCAD photography department for a week.

I always try to do some training during sabbatical, and this winter I took a digital photography course at NSCAD. This was designed to get me more familiar with handling and editing photographs in advance of some repeat photography work in Australia this summer. The class was a wonderful group of folks from a range of backgrounds, and we each tackled a final project that was displayed in the photography department for the week (see above).

My project was repeat photography of images I found in the Halifax Municipal Archives, allowing me to learn to combine old and new photographs from familiar sites around the city (see below for an example). The whole set can be found here. Thanks to Elena Cremonese at the Archives, and Rob Allen at NSCAD, for their support of this work. Also thanks to those of you on LinkedIn who answered the call when I couldn’t identify one of the photo sites.

Intersection of North and Chebucto, now and sometime maybe in the 60s? (Archival image 102-39-1-1276, Halifax Municipal Archives)

Congratulations Dr. Brackel

A quick note to congratulate Dr. Lieke Brackel on the successful defense of her TUDelft PhD dissertation, Brackish Waters: Integrating Justice in Climate Adaptation and Long-Term Water Management. Dr. Brackel used ethics frameworks to tackle how to deal with competing justice claims in climate adaptation planning, including managed retreat. I enjoyed reading the thesis and being a member of her examining committee, and thus being able to participate in another one of those wonderful Dutch events: the combination PhD examination and individualized graduation ceremony. Always stimulating as well as heart-warming.

In-person and remote examiners question Dr. Brackel, with the support of her two paranymphs.

Opening Windows has landed

Instagram post from the Faculty of Planning announcing the hard copies of Opening Windows arriving.

Thanks to the Faculty of Science Comms folks for recognizing the arrival of the hard copies of Opening Windows last week. This means the ~50 contributing authors worldwide are receiving theirs, too, and I hope they’re as proud as I am. Thanks to my co-editors, Doug Jackson-Smith and Glad Thondhlana, for the teamwork and IASNR for entrusting us with this important job of taking the pulse of our field and looking into its future!

Causeway-related surveys in the field

Postcard invitations being sent to those living within about 4 km of each causeway.

Over the next couple of weeks, residents living near the Petitcodiac River causeway (partially replaced with the Honourable Brenda Robertson Bridge) in New Brunswick and the Avon River causeway in Nova Scotia will receive post cards from my lab. PhD student Keahna Margeson is running a study to understand peoples’ experiences and perceptions of changes to the causeways, tidal gates, and rivers over the years. If you get one of these in your mailbox, and you have 10-15 minutes to spare, we would be very grateful to hear from you. 

Addendum April 8th: These postcards have gone out to those on mail routes within–or that touch–a 4 km buffer of each causeway site. Mail routes in rural areas can be quite large. With Canada Post Admail we cannot control the outer edge of the distribution, and so you may have received the postcard even at a significant distance from a causeway site, but we are still very interested to hear from you. Many thanks for your support.

Partnerships and defining success with the Atlantic Living Labs

Guest post by Dr. Brooke McWherter

Dr. Brooke McWherter presenting at the Newfoundland Living Lab in Corner Brook, NL.

Across the country right now farmers, farmer organizations, federal and university scientists, industry partners and more are working together to identify and test innovative agricultural practices on working farms to support sustainable production on farms. Called Living Labs (LL), these innovation hubs aim to bring together many of the diverse stakeholders in the agricultural food system to identify, develop and test innovative practices that aim to promote adoption and support Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals.

However collaboration of this scale is never easy and strategic planning can support diverse collaborative networks in identifying connections and create opportunities for finding commonalities among the diverse projects everyone is engaging in. This is where I fit in. As a natural resource social scientist, one of my passions is understanding collaborations and supporting collaborative efforts.

New Brunswick Workshop participants discussed their perceived roles and responsibilities.

My first workshop with the living labs occurred during the New Brunswick Living Lab (NB-LL) Annual Update and Planning workshop where I discussed my research on barriers to adoption and monitoring progress. Working with NB-LL partners we discussed the importance of setting clear roles and expectations and I led participants through a 1-hour workshop developing logic models for each commodity group within the LL. Logic models are useful tools because they allow for partners and organizations to clearly demonstrate their logic for how their activities will lead to specific goals and outcomes of the program. They can also be used for follow-up monitoring and evaluation.

Following this workshop, I met several other Atlantic LL leads who were present, and I was invited to Newfoundland to conduct a 7-hour two-day workshop with all of their partners. Together we first did a partnership mapping exercise which mapped out the different partners and their connections to other groups and then we completed an extended logic model that not only looked at planned activities but also their status which were then compared to current tracking documents.

As a facilitator both of these workshops really highlighted the complexity of running a living lab and what it means to co-produce knowledge. We often say we want more stakeholders involved but the more organizations in a project the harder it can be to keep everyone on the same page, to follow all of the projects involved, and to overcome institutional hurdles such as low incentives for co-creation projects, data sharing restrictions, and partners with high responsibility loads.

However what these experiences and my most recent facilitation role with the Atlantic LL in identifying shared success factors show is the power of relationships. The Atlantic LL team leads from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, PEI, and Newfoundland really exemplify the types of leaders that have been recruited for this project and the power that comes from collaboration and working together. The different leads are often present at each other’s workshops, work to build cross-provincial connections and projects and support each other in the co-production process. After all no one knows better than them what they are going through.

It has been an amazing experience to work with the Atlantic Living Labs and support their efforts to improve collaboration, co-production, and cross-provincial comparison. I personally can’t wait to see what they come up with in the future.

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