Landscapes - People - Global change

Month: March 2023

New paper on resistance to flood risk mapping

Also congratulations to Sam for being named as the 2023 recipient of the Sustainability Impact Award at Dalhousie!

Also congratulations to Sam for being named as the 2023 recipient of the Sustainability Impact Award at Dalhousie!

Samantha Howard’s Honours research was published today in The Canadian Geographer (last edition before it changes to Canadian Geographies to allow for gender neutral in French). Her new open access paper, Flood risk mapping in southwestern Nova Scotia: Perceptions and concerns, explores drivers of resistance to publicly available flood risk mapping in Liverpool and Bridgewater, NS, using the dimensions of climax thinking. In her AdMail-distributed survey, Samantha found that generally public flood risk mapping is supported, at least when we asked about it using positively phrased statements. But 16% of people agreed that having such mapping available publicly was an unacceptable risk for real estate values. One in six is low, but can be impactful if those people wield economic or political power. Exploring what drove that expression of resistance, the usual variables had no effect (flood experience, flood risk assessment, perceptions of change in flood risk). But when climax variables were included, two in particular, it almost quadrupled the predictive power of the model. Which variables? Agreeing that “I am not able to cope with the land changes required to deal with significant increases in flood risk at this point in my life” and “Flood management decisions I make do not have implications for others”. This self-orientation even trumped being a parent. This survey served as a good pilot for her current Masters research, currently being written up (when she’s not busy accepting University awards, that is). Congratulations, Sam!


IDPhD student Keahna Margeson

Keahna Margeson has been named one of Dalhousie’s next crop of thought leaders in the OpenThink program at our Faculty of Graduate Studies. These PhD students get trained in communication and data visualization skills, and develop blog posts through the year to practice those skills. Keahna’s first blog post is now up, about putting a round peg (natural science) in a square hole (say, coastal planning): it fits, but there’s gaps around the edge. She pitches social science as critical to fill the hole properly.  Follow her on Twitter and you can stay tuned on the rest of her posts.

March lab news

ResNet PIs Jeremy , Danika, I work with Lara at SMU on Lara's system dynamics model integrating our understanding of the Bay of Fundy dykeland context, Friday, March 10th, 2022.

ResNet PIs Jeremy, Danika, and I work with Lara at SMU on Lara’s system dynamics model integrating our understanding of the Bay of Fundy dykeland context, Friday, March 10th, 2023.

It is a busy part of term, three-quarters through, and it is also fiscal year end, but it is still worth taking a bit of time to reflect on a few things happening in the lab. First year MES students Emily Snair and Paria Movaghati Nashta have presented their proposal talks at the SRES Research Seminar class and are preparing for the next stages of their research: getting those proposals approved by their committees. Samantha Howard is firming up her PLS-SEM statistical models and starting to outline her first substantive chapter, while working on the typesetting of her Honours paper for The Canadian Geographer (soon to be Canadian Geographies). Emily Wells just today finished her revisions and deposited her thesis with FGS. Kate Thompson has her second IDPhD dissertation paper in full draft and is getting started on the third and last.  Keahna Margeson is outlining her second IDPhD comprehensive exam, having worked the first into a manuscript for submission.  Postdoc Brooke McWherter is deep into data generation and preliminary analyses, as well as grant-writing, and Lara Cornejo is synthesizing all of L1 into a single massive conceptual model (see above) with the support of the wider L1 team. This will be a more functional conceptual model than the one we made at the outset of the project and published in Facets (and which Facets plugged on Twitter this last World Wetlands Day). We’re all planning our conferences for the coming season, which all seem to be occurring in the same two-or-three week window (IASNR, CZC, EcoSummit, etc.) and so we are scattering to the four winds to cover them all.

Speaking of scattering to the winds, I’ll finish up here by sharing my delight at what I found on campus on Sunday. I had forgotten my laptop cable at work so was a bit disgruntled by the need to walk in to collect it on a weekend. The smile turned upside-down when I saw a Holi festival in full swing in the Dal Quad (see below). Students were dancing to Bollywood music and throwing coloured powder and having a marvelous time, welcoming spring (perhaps a bit early yet). Bring it on.

Holi festival underway in the Dal Quad, March 12, 2023.

Holi festival underway in the Dal Quad, March 12, 2023.

Congratulations, Emily Wells, MES!

Emily Wells speaks during her online MES defense, Mar 2, 2022, about being gifted an eagle feather by a Mi’kmaw Knowledge Holder during her research and what it meant to her.

Delighted to share news that Emily Wells defended her MES thesis yesterday, titled Mi’kmaw relational values: Lessons for environmental valuation from Indigenous literatures and L’nuwey along the Bay of Fundy Coast. Thanks to Heather Cray who acted as Chair, Melanie Zurba who was Emily’s committee member and welcomed her into the Co-Lab community, and also Kai Chan who served as her external examiner. It was too bad that threats of poor weather drove us to an online event, but it was still a wonderful conversation, exactly the kind of insightful and reflective event you hope for out of a defense. We have new ideas with which to approach the final thesis submission and the publication process.

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