Landscapes - People - Global change

Tag: cultural ecosystem services (Page 1 of 2)

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!

Lab collaboration

Picture of members of my lab (and one baby) working together on a new project.

Visiting PhD student Qiqi Zhao (second from right), has a project that brings my lab together to collaborate; from left to right, Mehrnoosh Mohammadi, Yan Chen (and Esther) and Emily Wells (not pictured: Keshava Pallavi Gone and Keahna Margeson).

We had a fun (and rare) lab meeting on Tuesday to workshop a collaborative project inspired by the visit of Chinese PhD student Qiqi Zhao. The SolVES methods she has used so far in her research in Nanjing require some adjustment to explore rural Nova Scotia. This project will bring together the expertise of students I am working with around culturomics and social media methods generally (Mehrnoosh, Yan, Keshava, Keahna), including manual and machine learning approaches, and cultural ecosystem services and relational values (Emily, Mehrnoosh, Qiqi, Yan), including quite a few who have already engaged in the Bay of Fundy target system  (Emily, Mehrnoosh, Yan). An exciting nexus of skills and interests as we set about establishing a better understanding of those tricky non-material services and values on the multifunctional Bay of Fundy coast.

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 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 paper: dykelands vs. marshes on Instagram

Clusters of landscape, cultural ecosystem services and demographics associated with Instagram images in Chen et al 2020

Clusters of landscape, cultural ecosystem services and demographics associated with Instagram images in Chen et al 2020

As decision-makers tackle the challenge of adapting Bay of Fundy dykelands to climate change, they need to understand who uses and values dykelands and salt marshes, and for what. This new paper in Ocean and Coastal ManagementComparing cultural ecosystem service delivery in dykelands and marshes using Instagram: A case of the Cornwallis (Jijuktu’kwejk) River, Nova Scotia, Canada, used four months of geocoded Instagram data to understand the cultural ecosystem service (CES) tradeoffs that might result from removing/realigning dykes and restoring salt marshes where dykelands can’t be sustained.  Dykelands provide a much wider set of CES for a wider demographic than do marshes for this set of social media users. However, a big surprise is that while salt marshes were present in many photos they were not named as such; users spoke only about the dykes and dykelands behind those marshes. As such, the marsh CES in the dataset came from visitors to an impounded freshwater wetland trail which is a local attraction walkable from the downtown centre of Kentville. Many of the messages triangulate well with the 2016 online Q survey I ran with Nova Scotians about the same topic and the paper provides another nice case study as to the utility of social media data for social impact assessment.  One of the really great things about this paper is that it is a real ‘lab’ output. The work was initiated as a follow-up to that 2016 study and to inform the new ResNet work when I knew Camille was going to be joining as an intern from AgroCampus Ouest. PhD student Yan collected a few months of Instagram posts for Camille to analyze with her help, postdoc Tuihedur helped with statistics, and then Yan picked it up again to write up after Camille went back to France. I’m proud of this paper and this collaborative team.

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