Landscapes - People - Global change

Category: Education (Page 1 of 4)

Social scientists at work

Samantha Howard, Brooke McWherter and I work through the early results of Samantha’s MES statistical results.

Term is well underway, now, with the third week of lectures done. Two great classes of students are spending 3 hours a week with me talking about Qualitative Data Analysis and the Socio-Political Dimensions of NRM (and one poor fellow is spending 6 hours as he is in both). In admidst there are the usual milestones being met. Proposal writing for some (Emily S and Paria), data generation for others (Brooke, Lara),  knee-deep data analysis for Sam (see above), writing thesis chapters/papers (Yan, Kate) and comprehensives (Keahna) including MES defense prep for Emily W, and papers finally coming out for some already completed (Mehrnoosh, stay tuned for upcoming posts). It will be a busy term but nice to look forward to a research-intensive sabbatical year starting July 1.

In addition, and the real reason for this post, there has been a lot of great news coming about my lab members recently. I learned that current MES Samantha Howard was named one of Starfish’s Top 25 under 25. I also heard that current IDPhD Kate Thompson has been hired as a 3-year limited term appointment in the School of Planning, starting this term. It’s reference-check season so I can see lots of progress among completed lab members, and it’s always exciting to watch them launch so smoothly.

Northwest Arm, Sept 25, 7:50 am

View up the Northwest Arm, early morning, Sept 25, 2020.

View up the Northwest Arm, early morning, Sept 25, 2020.

Bookending this week with pictures of my daily commute, which is quite a pleasure these days. It’s not just the lower traffic with people working at home, though that is nice, it’s that I’ve finally been able to get back to commuting on foot. The Halifax Regional Municipality changed the buffer distance for students to qualify for bussing this year down to 1.6 kms this year – we are 1.7 km from the school. So instead of spending 80 minutes in the car a day,  waiting in long lineups to get through the bottlenecks at the Armdale Rotary and feeling like part of the problem, I’m spending 80 minutes walking, in part along the lovely and narrow Northwest Arm. The above is a view of the Arm from that self-same Rotary, harder to appreciate when jockeying traffic. I wonder how many other families could be using more active transportation if bussing were more widely available?

MES student achievements

A work of art featured in the new MES-curated Dal Art Gallery show Nature as Communities

A work of art featured in the new MES-curated Dal Art Gallery show Nature as Communities

A few quick things to mention about our wonderful MES students at SRES, before I head out for ISSRM on the weekend.

  • Jennifer Yakamovich, who is studying environmental art with Tarah Wright (I’m only a committee member) has curated a visual art show at the Dalhousie Art Gallery with some of her research participants, called Nature as Communities. DalNews did a nice profile on her work.
  • Jaya Fahey, who I’ve been working with on Space to Roost, collaborating with beach users to share beaches with migrating shorebirds, today shared a short documentary that features the project, Sharing the Coast with Shorebirds.
  • Finally, Ellen Chappell presented this morning at Energy Research & Social Science, in Tempe, Arizona, about her survey-based Masters work on utilitarian landscape change and renewable energy in the Chignecto. She’ll be first in her cohort to defend June 17.

Brava, everyone!

30 years of WHSRN, 3 for Space to Roost

MES student Jaya Fahey talks about shorebirds at the WHSRN 30 year celebration today at Evangeline Beach (photo: Richard Stern)

MES student Jaya Fahey talks about shorebirds at the WHSRN 30 year celebration today at Evangeline Beach (photo: Richard Stern)

Meanwhile, the signs have gone up at Avonport Beach for year three of Space to Roost.

Meanwhile, the signs have gone up at Avonport Beach for year three of Space to Roost.

Colleagues at Bird Studies Canada and Nature Conservancy Canada joined with other conservation groups today at Evangeline Beach at Grand Pre, Nova Scotia, to celebrate 30 years that the Minas Basin has been recognized by the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network (WHSRN) as a globally significant bird habitat. MES student and BSC intern Jaya Fahey was interviewed for local media. The timing is significant: it is the leading edge of the time that the area hosts millions of shorebirds migrating south from the Arctic. These birds need to eat and gain weight and above all rest, because the next step is a big one: three days swim over the ocean non-stop to South America … and they can’t swim! The signs have already gone up at Avonport (left) to recruit beach users to help us set aside high-tide resting beaches while the birds are here. This is year three of Space to Roost, the second using resting beaches. We have some indication already that these resting beaches reduce human disturbance; this year should help us fully understand their effectiveness.

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