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.
It is the usual frantic end-of-term time, compounded by COVID uncertainties and some family health issues, but I can’t let March go by without a post. There has been a lot happening worth exclaiming about.
First, ResNet postdoc Lara Cornejo started her fellowship remotely early this month, while she waits for her work permit to be approved. She is starting by working on modelling some of the pollination service delivery in dykelands and tidal wetlands based on fieldwork by Evan and Terrell from SMU.
Second, Brooke McWherter, currently a PhD candidate at Purdue University under the wonderful Dr. Zhao Ma, learned that she won a Mitacs Elevate postdoctoral fellowship to come work with me for two years. Her project will start in August, and will follow the new Advanced Grazing Management farmer peer-mentorship program being launched this year by Canadian Forage and Grassland Association and Farmers for Climate Solutions. Huge thanks to the latter for being the official host of this Mitacs. Brooke will unfortunately soon get to experience the work permit uncertainty that Lara is experiencing now.
Third, IDPhD applicant Robin Willcocks Musselman, already an MES alum, learned she won a Nova Scotia Graduate Scholarship to supplement her study on my climax thinking SSHRC this fall. Robin will hopefully be looking longitudinally at experiences of flood displacement along the St. John River, as well as potentially elsewhere, to understand not only place disruption but processes of place adaptation and attachment.
Not bad for a single month. Welcome, Lara, and brava Brooke and Robin!
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.
If you get a card that looks like this in your mail, please don’t ignore it. Environmental Science Honours student Samantha Howard is now waiting eagerly for responses to her survey invitation, which will start arriving in the mailboxes of Bridgewater and Liverpool, NS, early next week. She is interested to know how residents feel about the possibility of flood risk mapping being made publicly available for their property, perhaps even required as a disclosure during home sales or rental agreements.
We are sending this survey invitation out via a Canada Post admail postcard, to avoid multiple handling and any envelope licking at this time of COVID, which I have never tried before. We hope for a good response rate so Samantha can analyze the results statistically, and are grateful to those who are willing to give their time. The survey closes on February 14, to leave enough time for analysis and writing before Sam’s thesis is due the following month. There are 10 Tim Horton’s gift cards to be given away to respondents who decide to enter our draw at the end of the survey. The first 100 respondents have a 1 in 20 chance of winning a $20 card, the rest go into a draw for 5 $10 cards.
I’m excited to share that I am co-editing the next ‘state of knowledge’ book project for the field of natural resource social science with Gladman Thondhlana (Rhodes) and Douglas Jackson-Smith (Ohio State), with the support of the International Association of Society and Natural Resources (IASNR) as part of its Society and Natural Resources Book Series. Our working title is Opening Windows: Emerging Perspectives, Practices and Opportunities in Natural Resource Social Sciences, and it will be published with the Utah State University/University Press of Colorado in 2024 in line with the history of past decadal volumes of this type (Manfredo, 2004; Manfredo et al., 2014). Believe it or not, that means we need to start now, and so we’ve just launched the call for chapter proposals, due February 28th. We are inviting two different chapter types, Commentaries (1500-2000 words) and Reviews (5000-7000 words), but the review section invites some very particular threads, the first of which we are particularly excited about.
- Global Insights. This chapter type is for reviews (written in English) predominantly of academic scholarship published in specific non-English languages.
- Advances in Theory and Methods. This chapter type will explore how we are innovating in how we do our research, including in terms of:
- Theoretical and conceptual issues: What are the contemporary theoretical tensions and emerging ideas guiding scholarship in society and natural resources?
- New methods/methodologies: How do we operationalize key theoretical concepts?
- Progress in Core and Emerging Problems. This chapter type summarizes the literature on classic problem domains for the field, as well as emerging ones.
- Trends in Action and Application. This chapter type describes examples of how natural resource social science scholarship has (and has not) been used or translated into on-ground outcomes, by influencing how resource challenges are conceived of or tackled and with whom.
The idea for the Global Insights paper type came out of the ‘Standing on the Shoulders of Sameness‘ session on bias in publishing run at ISSRM 2019 in Oshkosh. We really want to open the doors in this volume to new voices and perspectives, consistent with the name of the volume, so hope that people help us spread the word widely about the call.