Landscapes - People - Global change

Month: December 2021

“You keep using that word…” – a new paper

The 'killer viz' for Soubry and Sherren (2022), showing contrasting discourses around resilience between Maritime farmers and the feds.

The ‘killer viz’ for Soubry and Sherren (2022), showing contrasting discourses around resilience between Maritime farmers and the feds.

The third and final paper from Bernard Soubry’s PhD thesis is finally out in Land Use Policy, “You keep using that word…”: Disjointed definitions of resilience in food systems adaptation. Usually, when people use quotes at the start of a paper title, it comes from something one of the participants said. This time, it comes from The Princess Bride, a favourite movie in our house (in which the word in question is “inconceivable”). The term resilience is one of those panchrestons that can be difficult to grapple with, but Bernard did a great job of deconstructing its use in his interviews with Maritime farmers, and contrasting that with expressions of resilience in the same House and Senate reviews of agriculture and climate change that former postdoc Wes Tourangeau used in his last paper with me. Such secondary data sources provide a rare insight into the world of policy. This is also a great example of a qualitative ‘killer viz’ that draws on rich inductive coding without quantification.

Making Room for Movement framework

Cover of our NRCan-funded Framework report

Delighted to report that our Making Room for Movement project, funded by Natural Resources Canada Climate Change Adaptation Fund and ably led by PI Danika van Proosdij out of SMU, now has a final report available to all. This report, which we’ve been calling the Framework, is a synthesis of several years of research in this project by my lab (Krysta Sutton’s MES on coastal resident focus groups and climax thinking) and that of Patricia Manuel and Eric Rapaport at Planning (who among other things prepared six excellent case studies of ‘making room for movement’ in Nova Scotia), engaging with Danika’s TransCoastal Adaptations: Centre for Nature-based Solutions that is involved in on-ground dyke realignment, tidal wetland restoration and other living shorelines projects. Colleagues like Caytlyn McFadden, Yvonne Reeves were critical in synthesis mode and Postdoctoral fellow HM Tuihedur Rahman helped draw insights for the literature; and great partners like CB Wetlands, CBCL and the Ecology Action Centre helped us ground our insights.


Lab collaboration

Picture of members of my lab (and one baby) working together on a new project.

Visiting PhD student Qiqi Zhao (second from right), has a project that brings my lab together to collaborate; from left to right, Mehrnoosh Mohammadi, Yan Chen (and Esther) and Emily Wells (not pictured: Keshava Pallavi Gone and Keahna Margeson).

We had a fun (and rare) lab meeting on Tuesday to workshop a collaborative project inspired by the visit of Chinese PhD student Qiqi Zhao. The SolVES methods she has used so far in her research in Nanjing require some adjustment to explore rural Nova Scotia. This project will bring together the expertise of students I am working with around culturomics and social media methods generally (Mehrnoosh, Yan, Keshava, Keahna), including manual and machine learning approaches, and cultural ecosystem services and relational values (Emily, Mehrnoosh, Qiqi, Yan), including quite a few who have already engaged in the Bay of Fundy target system  (Emily, Mehrnoosh, Yan). An exciting nexus of skills and interests as we set about establishing a better understanding of those tricky non-material services and values on the multifunctional Bay of Fundy coast.

Mehrnoosh’s defense

Mehrnoosh Mohammadi defending her MES thesis on Dec 3, 2021, online.

Mehrnoosh Mohammadi defending her MES thesis on Dec 3, 2021, online.

Proud to see Mehrnoosh Mohammadi ably defend her MES about energy infrastructure in vineyards on Friday, starting with a strong presentation of the mixed methods and findings, followed by questions from her committee and examiner and an in camera deliberation. I’ve never seen so many guests at a defense; Mehrnoosh had many friends and family calling in from near and far to support her, as well as a few students and other scholars.  My SRES colleague Dr. Michelle Adams was an excellent examiner, bringing lots of ideas from her work at the interface of sustainability and business, and my former postdoc Dr. H. M. Tuihedur Rahman provided wonderful support as committee member and stats expert. Dr. Heather Cray chaired it in record time. The work was funded by SSHRC, thanks to an IDG led by Dr. Kirby Calvert, a Nova Scotia Graduate Scholarship, and a Parya Scholarship. Thanks to all who helped it happen, and of course congratulations to Mehrnoosh.

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