Kate Sherren

Landscapes - People - Global change

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What happened to October?

My talk underway online for the Maritime Beef Conference last Friday

My talk underway online for the Maritime Beef Conference last Friday

The last few weeks have been busy , and I see October has come and gone without a post. A few notable things have been happening amidst all the teaching. For instance, I enjoyed my online plenary talk about adaptive grazing to the Maritime Beef Conference last Friday, and earlier that same week, hosting another meeting of the wider ResNet Landscape 1 group: academics, students and partners. Qiqi Zhao arrived to work on ResNet for a year as part of her PhD, funded by the China Scholarship Council, and is awaiting release from quarantine. The commentary chapters are rolling in for peer review as contributions to the Opening Windows decadal review of natural resource social science that I’m lead co-editing, and I’ve been leading the development of a set of awards for IASNR as part of my chairship of its Membership Committee. Long-awaited new colleague Stanley Asah has started work in the School as a CRC 1 in the Social Dimensions of Clean Technology. We proudly congratulated our fall graduates of the MES program (see below), including Gardenio da Silva who I supervised. I’ve been livestreaming COP26 when I can, and gave some independent comment covered in a Weather Network article by Mark Jacquemain about an AI-driven literature review about climate adaptation in Nature that makes the kinds of assessments you might expect about how coherent efforts have been to date: “fragmented, local and incremental, with limited evidence of transformational adaptation and negligible evidence of risk reduction outcomes”.  Back to work now… it’s Tenure & Promotion season and I’m the only full professor in the saddle.

Our informal MES grad mixer this fall; best on-time completion rate in the history of the program!

Our informal MES grad mixer this fall; best on-time completion rate in the history of the program!

 

 

Mehrnoosh’s poster award at Landscape 2021

Mehrnoosh (lower right) and two other recipients of the Landscape 2021 poster award at the online award ceremony.

Mehrnoosh (lower right) and two other recipients of the Landscape 2021 poster award at the online award ceremony.

Congratulations to Mehrnoosh Mohammadi, who won one of three poster awards at this week’s Landscape 2021 meeting in Europe (remotely), which is an international event focuses on sustainable agriculture through diversity and multifunctionality. On top of a certificate, this award will fund her to attend the next meeting in 2024. Mehrnoosh is in the final stages of her MES here in SRES, and her poster covers the first paper planned from her thesis, Terroir as an Ecosystem Service in Vineyard Landscapes: A Social Media Approach, which combines thematic coding, hierarchical cluster analysis and innovative collage visualization methods (to balance concerns of copyright and privacy online). Her work is funded by the Nova Scotia Graduate Scholarships and funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (Kirby Calvert, PI) for a project concerned with integrating renewable energy into vineyard landscapes. Her next paper also uses Instagram but explores the impact of wind farms and solar panels on vineyard visitors, using more clever methods such as photo editing and saliency mapping.

Mehrnoosh Mohammadi's award-winning poster at Landscape 2021

Mehrnoosh Mohammadi’s award-winning poster at Landscape 2021

 

New chapter: using surveys in critical social acceptance work on renewable energy

The cover of the new Batel & Rudolph-edited volume that contains our chapter on quant methods.

Nice to see a new chapter out this month, Strategies for Integrating Quantitative Methods into Critical Social Acceptance Research, drawing on three different surveys about renewable energy in the last few years with UAlberta colleague John Parkins, one with MES Ellen Chappell, both co-authors. The book is co-edited by Susana Batel and David Rudolph, focusing on ‘critical’ approaches to social acceptance work on renewable energy. While they first approached me to do something on climax thinking, for some reason I can’t quite remember (probably the long delay for that previous chapter to come out), I pitched something on quant methods instead. Our chapter argues that quantitative methods are not anathema to critical approaches: they bring important strengths but call for some creativity in design. The three surveys we used as exemplars covered the national scale, provincial scale (Alberta) and regional scale (Tantramar/Chignecto), and each sought to reach beyond methodological individualism and  Likert questions by engaging with place and materiality, looking relationally, exploring situated norms, forcing trade-offs, using vignettes or scenarios and enquiring about emotions. Now that I can see the impressive full line-up, I can’t wait to get back into the office where I expect my complimentary copy is waiting for me.

New review paper: ecosystem service delivery in dykelands and tidal wetlands

Conceptual diagram of believed ecosystem service flows, Figure 3 in Sherren et al. 2021.

Conceptual diagram of believed ecosystem service flows, Figure 3 in Sherren et al. 2021.

The first output of the Landscape 1 case study of ResNet, the Bay of Fundy dykelands, is out this week in Facets, Canada’s open access science journal: Understanding multifunctional Bay of Fundy dykelands and tidal wetlands using ecosystem services—a baseline. We set out to understand ecosystem service flows from tidal wetlands and drained agricultural dykeland (former tidal wetland), as climate change forces a rethink of the dykeland system. This review covered papers, theses, reports, and drew in some cases on other jurisdictions where there was a dearth of local data. We uncovered some key gaps but also potential synergies in balancing the system for sustainability. Filling some of the gaps to inform decisionmaking is the undertaking that faces us in ResNet.

 

New review paper: using social media images in social science

Figure 3 in Chen et al. 2021, Distribution of scholars and collaboration between continents

Figure 3 in Chen et al. 2021, Distribution of scholars and collaboration between continents

Delighted to have a new open source scoping review paper in New Media and Society led by PhD student Yan Chen, Using social media images as data in social science research.  This paper is the result of one of her comprehensive exams and allows us to see some of the strengths and biases of this emerging practice. There is a distinctly English-language and small-data approach to these datasets, compared to ‘culturomics’ approaches emerging in conservation contexts, for instance, that use lots of machine learning approaches. There is also a chaos of approaches to ethics and copyright in the handling and use, characteristic of a method that has not yet matured and is subject to a constantly shifting context in terms of platforms and usage norms.

 

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