June and July have been busy and a few events have passed by that are worth mentioning.
Back in late June I attended a few days of the Nature-based Infrastructure for Coastal Resilience and Risk Reduction Symposium led by Enda Murphy at the National Research Council (collaborator on Keahna’s OGEN project) and Danika van Proosdij of TransCoastal/SMU. That event was workshoppy, learning about the case studies of the NRC-led Nature-based Infrastructure for Coastal Resilience and Risk Reduction project, and the Canadian design guidelines being developed. During the subsequent conference, Qiqi Zhao presented a poster on her project using Instagram to understand cultural ecosystem service delivery in the dykeland context using SolVES, and Patricia Manuel presented a few stunning summaries of our Making Room for Movement work. It was fun to network with others working in the coastal restoration space during the poster session. You can read the abstracts here.
The next day, I had the complete honour of (remotely) being one of the ‘opponents’ for Dr. Dirk Oudes PhD defense at Wageningen University in the Netherlands: Landscape-inclusive energy transition: landscape as catalyst in the shift to renewable energy. The ceremony was a new experience, combining a somewhat ceremonial examination (we had already read the dissertation and given our opinions in order for the event to take place) with an individual graduation ceremony complete with Beadle and Rector. I was quite touched by it all, particularly the lengthy speech by Dirk’s primary supervisor, Sven Stremke, that spoke to his qualities and abilities but also paid tribute to his family (the part directed to his children was in Dutch but I made out the words “Dr. Papa”) and to his late co-supervisor. I was also stunned that the examination was followed by the graduation ceremony itself: Dirk stepped forward, signed his testamur (agreeing to particular expectations of a Wageningen graduate), and had it handed to him in a red tube with a handshake. Through it all, I sat like a lonely peacock in my ANU academic garb in my office.
The following week I got to appear in the academic procession for our 2020 and 2021 graduates in SRES who didn’t get an in-person event because of COVID. Dean Kim Brooks surprised me on the stage by asking me to be the one to stand up and bow (no hand shaking anymore) to our MES and MREM graduates as they passed the Dean of Graduate Studies, Marty Leonard. I was delighted to. It was particularly nice to see Gardenio da Silva and Jaya Fahey cross the stage, former MES students of mine, and Olivia Giansante-Torres and Jessica Kern, two MREMs I worked with.
Since then there has been holiday time at the family camp and some frantic grant writing, and a stressful turn with Samantha’s survey reminders (it has to be a record that Canada Post lost 1250 reminder cards!). Most recently I had a comical turn on CBC Mainstreet on Monday, talking about our new Climax thinking on the coast paper. They somehow muted me half-way through so I couldn’t hear them but they could hear me. I thought I had left them speechless.