Landscapes - People - Global change

Tag: focus groups

Coastal focus group paper out in The Canadian Geographer

Figures 1 and 2 of Sutton et al., out today in The Canadian Geographer, showing the participant locations and coasts for our focus groups, and the content from the focus groups covered in the paper.

This morning the second paper from our 2019 coastal resident focus groups for the NRCan-funded Making Room for Movement project is out in The Canadian Geographer, Coastal resident perceptions of nature-based adaptation options in Nova Scotia, led by recent MES graduate Krysta Sutton. This paper helps us to understand how those living on Nova Scotia’s coasts feel about living shorelines (supportive but skeptical), accommodation like raising homes (an expensive ‘band aid’) and retreat (inevitable in the long term, but requiring government support). Managed realignment of dykes was poorly understood overall, suggesting that additional work is needed to broach this subject with locals. Since Fiona in Sept 2022, the conversation in this region around retreat has really changed, however.  We see residents in Port aux Basques who lost their homes, some uninsured, relieved at being bought out by the government and finding new places to settle. PEI residents are looking at their coasts very differently, too (I’m quoted on that one). It would be very interesting to re-run these focus groups now.

Climax thinking on the coast – new paper in Environmental Management

The experimental design for our 2019 focus groups, inspired by climax thinking

Happy finally to have the first paper out open access in Environmental Management from the SRES node of the SMU-led NRCan-funded Making Room for Movement project. This paper tells the results of the online (pre-COVID!) focus groups that we ran with coastal property owners back in summer 2019, and specifically, the impact of the experimental ‘priming’ treatments that MES Krysta Sutton and I applied. Framing is a more common idea than priming. In framing you design the message itself to be acceptable to your audience by emphasizing some aspects and de-emphasizing others. Priming is more like setting the stage: getting people thinking in ways that will allow difficult messages–like those about coastal adaptation and retreat–to later land productively. We used three experimental treatments based on the climax thinking framework, and tested the impacts quantitatively (using pre-post tests) and qualitatively (analyzing focus group discussions). Getting people thinking about future generations was most clearly effective, but it was also helpful to get people thinking about altruism in their community (past and present). This suggests some useful ways to engage with residents in areas faced by sea-level rise. Briefly: Don’t look backward, but forward to future generations, and outward to focus on the meaning in tackling shared challenges together.

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