Landscapes - People - Global change

Category: Methods (Page 2 of 17)

New survey in the field

Postcard coming through CanadaPost Admail soon to Kings, Hants, Cumberland and Colchester counties.

Very soon, people who live in multi-unit dwellings around Hants, Kings, Colchester and Cumberland county in Nova Scotia will start receiving postcards like the above from my lab. Samantha Howard is running a focused study to strengthen our understanding of how people in the region think about (and maybe use) dykelands and tidal wetlands. If you get one of these in your mailbox, and you have 8-10 minutes to spare, we would be so grateful to hear from you.

New culturomics paper mapping CES using Instagram

Figure 2 process flowchart of the new Zhao et al. paper in Marine Policy

Another nice lab output this week in Marine Policy led by Qiqi Zhao, a China Scholarship Council visiting PhD student in my lab last year, including a bunch of other lab-affiliated students as co-authors: Modelling cultural ecosystem services in agricultural dykelands and tidal wetlands to inform coastal infrastructure decisions: a social media data approach. It is a bit of a companion piece to the Chen et al (2020) piece in Ocean and Coastal Management, as it uses the same Instagram dataset collected for every dykeland area in Nova Scotia back in 2018, but in a very different way. Chen et al. took a very qualitative ‘small data’ approach to the dataset, analyzing the photographs (and accounts) only of posts that included the words dyke*/dike*/wetland/marsh in the captions. Zhao et al. used a ‘big data’ text mining approach, extracting and associating bi-grams (two-word strings) from geolocated post captions to particular cultural ecosystem services (CES), modelling those CES using SolVES and comparing (as with Chen et al.) dykeland and wetland services. Whereas Chen et al. only found direct mentions of freshwater marshes (specifically Miner’s Marsh), in Zhao et al. we leveraged the coordinates to locate those geolocated to tidal wetland sites.  This will help us better understand the tradeoffs associated with climate change-driven adaptations of the dykeland system in the Bay of Fundy, the focus of NSERC ResNet Landscape 1.

New paper on salience mapping of energy infrastructure

Figure 1 in Mohammadi et al (2023), showing the novel sequence of work in PhotoShop, Matlab and GIS to understand how energy infrastructure affects a view.

Really nice to see a paper come out this week in Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal from Mehrnoosh Mohammadi’s MES thesis on renewable energy infrastructure in amenity (specifically vineyard) landscapes. This is the kind of thing that happens when a landscape architect joins your lab. This work involved a creative sequence of PhotoShop (to remove energy infrastructure seen in Instagram images taken at vineyards), Matlab (to calculate visual saliency), and ArcGIS analysis to understand the change in salience wrought by the removal. Cool stuff! This started out as a research note at submission, but got upgraded by the editor: A saliency mapping approach to understanding the visual impact of wind and solar infrastructure in amenity landscapes. Thanks to PhD student Yan Chen and former postdoc H. M. Tuihedur Rahman for helping out on this work.

Bye to Qiqi

Selfie with Qiqi, ResNet postdoc Lara and I on Qiqi’s last day.

Every once in a while a student will email you out of the blue and ask if they can come work with you. Sometimes you really strike it lucky, too. I was delighted to host Nanjing University PhD candidate Qiqi Zhao in my lab for the last year, working on landscape culturomics in the Bay of Fundy. She extended work by Yan Chen, Tuihedur Rahman and a former French visiting student Camille Caesemaecker, using the same Instagram dataset to understand dykeland and wetland cultural ecosystem services. Her approach leveraged SolVES modelling, which she was already deploying in her own PhD on forest park CES in China. We coauthored three papers together, drawing in other members of my lab and the wider ResNet team (including some text mining techniques), and have plans for one more (at least!). Thank you for your hard work, Qiqi!

New survey around Minas Basin on coastal climate adaptation

Samantha Howard spent the weekend preparing her first mailout for her MES survey.

If you get a envelope that looks like the above in your mail, please don’t ignore it. SRES MES student Samantha Howard (above) is now waiting eagerly for responses to her survey invitation, which will start arriving in the mailboxes of a random sample of Kings, Hants, Colchester and Cumberland county residents later this week. She is looking at how people perceive climate change impacts and two methods for adapting to those impacts: public flood risk mapping and managed dyke realignment paired with salt marsh restoration. You don’t need to be an expert on any of these, or to have lived in the region long: we are interested in all residents’ perspectives!

We will be using a multiple mailout approach to work toward a good response rate, so the envelopes above will be followed by some reminder postcards over the coming weeks. A good response rate helps us feel confident that we have heard from a representative group of people, and without that our work is much weaker. We are grateful to all those willing to give 15-25 minutes of their time to help. As a thank you, the first 100 participants can enter  a draw for one of 10 $50 gift cards from either Tim Horton’s or Irving Gas (their choice)! The rest of the participants can enter to win one of 10 $25 gift cards.

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