A special article collection in Ecosystems & People on “Ten Years of the Program on Ecosystem Change and Society” (i.e. PECS), features two papers that I have co-authored. The first, led by Elena Bennett, indomitable NSERC ResNet PI, came out back in December: Facing the challenges of using place-based social-ecological research to support ecosystem service governance at multiple scales. This paper uses the ResNet structure of landscape case studies (including our Bay of Fundy dykelands) and integrative themes as an opportunity to explore the challenges of knowledge integration we face, and how we are trying to tackle those. The second paper was led by a close colleague since my time at ANU, Joern Fischer, and just came out this week: Using a leverage points perspective to compare social-ecological systems: a case study on rural landscapes. This one uses the leverage points framework to generalize insights across three large-scale social-ecological studies on which Joern has been a or the lead in Australia, Romania and Ethiopia. I love working with these big-thinking ecologists, especially when the modes of synthesis are as transparent and low tech as demonstrated in these papers, rather than massively complex computer models.
A new Opinion paper with my European colleagues Ivan Jaric, Ricardo Correia and others is out today in Trends in Ecology and Evolution on the Societal extinction of species. It is always fun and intellectually challenging to engage with this team of scholars on questions at the human-environment interface. Thanks to Ivan Jaric for his leadership and good humour in the face of mind-blowing track-changes!
**Update on February 26th to remark on the remarkable coverage this paper has received. One of the co-authors is tracking it and has found pieces in media, podcasts and blogs in English, French, Spanish, German, Vietnamese, Estonian, Portuguese, Italian, Korean, Hebrew, Finnish, Chinese, Polish, Dutch, Romanian, and Lithuanian. Pages of links, far too many to post here. An example is this piece by GrrlScientist in Forbes Magazine. As of today, the paper is #12 of all papers ever in TREE journal based on Altmetrics.
It has been a busy start of term, and I am startled to see it is my first posting in 2022, though the first of several in quick succession. Today was the last of a spate of online roles in the last 8 days, all of which were enjoyable. First up was a guest spot talking about social science to the students of Dalhousie’s NSERC CREATE in Leadership in Energy Sustainability (LES). That group is largely comprised of engineers but demonstrated great curiosity and asked great questions of me and my highly complementary co-panelist Tamara Krawchenko from UVic. Kudos to CRC II Karen Foster for coordinating and chairing.
That evening, I enjoyed participating as part of a ResNet-themed panel for the Nova Scotia Institute of Science. Colleagues Jeremy Lundholm (SMU), Danika van Proosdij (SMU), Alana Pindar (CBU) and I talked about the work of Landscape 1 of ResNet, and specifically the different pieces of the ecosystem services ‘puzzle’ associated with dykeland decision-making. This one is recorded, with me and Jeremy in this video, and Alana and Danika (as well as questions) in this one.
The following day, though it wasn’t a panel , I really enjoyed participating in the online Rangeland Social Science gathering, an informal event that happens pretty regularly in combination with the Society for Range Management meeting (this year happening in Albuquerque, NM). Particularly delightful was a break-out group on rangeland culture with Maria Fernandez-Gimenez, Brooke McWherter, and Katie Walsh. We’re remarkably practiced now at engaging productively online with new people, a skill I hope we hold onto (within reason) to reduce the environmental impact of academic travel.
Finally, this morning, I played the anchor role in a morning-long symposium on Coastal Zone Change in Atlantic Canada run by the Dalhousie Coastal Hydrology Lab run by Dr. Barret Kurylyk (also a ResNet colleague). That event included ResNet people including HQP Nicole LeRoux, Danika van Proosdij, as well as Patricia Manuel, collaborator in TransCoastal Adaptations and OGEN. It is a small world here in Nova Scotia.