View of the North Onslow dyke realignment and tidal wetland restoration project site, first big tide after dyke breach, Nov 8, 2021.
As in October, I have been too busy to blog this month but plenty has been happening. Gillian Kerr started working for ResNet L1 part time as a research associate to help with data stewardship and knowledge exchange. ResNet HQP Emily Wells and partner CMM’s Kara Pictou did a pilot interview for their shared work on Traditional Knowledge and climate change and the interviews are coming next. We had the first committee meeting for Keahna Margeson’s OGEN IDPhD about coastal adaptation, which includes an interdisciplinary team across SRES, Information Management, Planning, Kings, and the National Research Council. I made it up to see the Truro Onslow dyke realignment and tidal wetland restoration project (the one covered in this OECD report and this paper) during the last set of ‘high’ high tides, after the dyke was finally breached. The above photo was taken then, around 4:30 pm, and the bird life in the flooded former dykeland was cacophonous! A good sign for the biodiversity benefits of this ambitious project as well as the climate resilience benefits.
Former postdoc, HM Tuihedur Rahman, who led the paper linked above about the Truro case study, also led another recent paper in Climate Risk Management that features among the three other authors two of my lab alumni, former postdoc Wesley Tourangeau and PhD alum Bernard Soubry. Great to see such synthesis work emerging from trainees working directly together: A framework for using autonomous adaptation as a leverage point in sustainable climate adaptation.
Finally, I had fun participating in the book launch for the recent volume co-edited by Susana Batel and David Rudolph, A critical approach to the social acceptance of renewable energy infrastructures, published this year by Palgrave McMillin and available free online. Frequent collaborator John Parkins and I wrote a chapter in that volume with MES alum Ellen Chappell about the value of quantitative methods in critical social acceptance work on energy. The event was fascinating, and to my surprise the critical perspective of some presenters about renewable energy was in tension with the fast transition discourse coming from COP26.
Screensnap during the Nov 17, 2021, book launch for Batel and Rudolph (2021)… before the Zoom bombing event.
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.
My panel lineup on April 13 at the OECD expert workshop on Resilience and the Ocean-Climate Nexus
Yesterday and today I’ve been enjoying participating in an OECD expert workshop on Resilience and the Ocean-Climate Nexus, an initiative of their new horizontal programme. This was cohosted by the Portuguese delegation to the OECD. I was invited to share experiences from Nova Scotia in a panel on OECD country experiences on ocean climate impacts and resilience, allowing me to update the Truro dyke realignment case study I led for the OECD volume Responding to Rising Seas a few years ago and talking about some more recent developments like the Coastal Protection Act. My co-panelists brought more national (Vasco Becker-Weinberg of Portugal on Marine Spatial Planning and the law), and international perspectives (Georg Borsting of Norway on the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy). Our discussion across these scales was productive and stimulating. I was glad for the opportunity to bring a coastal and social perspective to this event, with an RSVP list of over 260 people from 58 different countries, many of them practitioners or from government.
** This position has now been filled **
I am still looking for an MES student to work on Mi’kmaw cultural ecosystem services in Bay of Fundy dykelands and salt marshes, starting either fall 2020 or 2021. This will explore how Mi’kmaq use and value the drained agricultural land (dykelands) and the salt marshes they replaced (and to which sections will return if abandoned or realigned). This student will become part of the Atlantic landscape case of NSERC ResNet, a national collaborative project designed to develop the utility of ecosystems service approaches for resolving complex resource decisions. Candidates should be socially curious, ideally trained in social science fields (e.g. first degrees in Geography, Environmental Studies, Sociology, Anthropology, Planning, etc.) and interested in qualitative methods such as semi-structured interviews, ethnography, photo or map elicitation, etc. First Nation students are particularly encouraged to apply for this, but all applications are welcome. Our partner, Mi’kmaw Conservation Group, is offering the opportunity to embed within their organization to improve community integration, regardless of background. Email me if you are interested.
I had forgotten about my interview with local journalist Moira Donovan until an email from a colleague alerted me that the documentary she produced for CBC’s Atlantic Voice aired this morning. The short (26 minute) documentary is called Breaching Tradition, and does a nice job of telling the story of the challenges facing Bay of Fundy dykelands. Collaborators Danika van Proosdij (SMU) and Tony Bowron (CBWES) are featured as well, and several residents of areas like Nappan and Advocate Harbour whose communities and livelihoods are threatened. Donovan also put together a CBC news article by the same name: Breaching tradition: Salt marshes replacing Nova Scotia’s dikes. This is the setting and challenging management context for the case study I am co-leading in a new 5-year national NSERC project called ResNet.