Landscapes - People - Global change

Tag: quantitative survey

New paper on AMP grazing and wellbeing

Graphical abstract for new paper in ASFS

In the heady days of February 2020, before Covid landed in Halifax, I launched a panel-based survey of Canadian ranchers about adaptive/AMP grazing and well-being to wind up my SSHRC Insight Grant. The first paper out of that work is finally out in Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems, Adaptive multi-paddock grazing and wellbeing: uptake, management practices and mindset among Canadian beef producers. One of the big surprises was the reported uptake, at 29% of the beef producer population, suggesting potential for a tipping point which may have something to do with the sudden increase in interest in regenerative approaches. Grazing regimes were distinct, as anticipated. The only type of well-being that was statistically associated with adaptive/AMP ranchers was higher physical well-being, but the other well-being scores also tell interesting stories. Insights from smaller-n studies that we tested here didn’t always hold up, for instance, neither being female, having a spouse who is a grazing partner nor belief in climate change were statistically related to grazing AMP.  Systems thinking and traditional thinking were both related just how you would expect, and it was nice to see the statements that Carolyn Mann developed for her Q-method work with ranchers turned into such useful scales for each of those.

New survey around Minas Basin on coastal climate adaptation

Samantha Howard spent the weekend preparing her first mailout for her MES survey.

If you get a envelope that looks like the above in your mail, please don’t ignore it. SRES MES student Samantha Howard (above) is now waiting eagerly for responses to her survey invitation, which will start arriving in the mailboxes of a random sample of Kings, Hants, Colchester and Cumberland county residents later this week. She is looking at how people perceive climate change impacts and two methods for adapting to those impacts: public flood risk mapping and managed dyke realignment paired with salt marsh restoration. You don’t need to be an expert on any of these, or to have lived in the region long: we are interested in all residents’ perspectives!

We will be using a multiple mailout approach to work toward a good response rate, so the envelopes above will be followed by some reminder postcards over the coming weeks. A good response rate helps us feel confident that we have heard from a representative group of people, and without that our work is much weaker. We are grateful to all those willing to give 15-25 minutes of their time to help. As a thank you, the first 100 participants can enter  a draw for one of 10 $50 gift cards from either Tim Horton’s or Irving Gas (their choice)! The rest of the participants can enter to win one of 10 $25 gift cards.

New paper: What drives support for wind development in sight of home?

Ellen Chappell’s second MES paper is out today in Journal of Environmental Policy and PlanningThose who support wind development in view of their home take responsibility for their energy use and that of others: evidence from a multi-scale analysis. This looks at predictors of support for wind development at three scales: generally/nationally, regionally (in the Chignecto area of NB/NS where the survey was implemented) and in view of respondents’ homes. The strongest predictors at that critical ‘home view’ scale was agreeing that seeing turbines remind them of the energy they use and that it has to be generated somewhere, and seeing energy as a commodity for potential export like any other. These are novel variables in the context of wind acceptability research, with interesting linkages to climax thinking, and we hope will inspire other researchers to expand the variables and scales they use.

New paper in Human Dimensions of Wildlife

The Motivation-Values Triangle advanced by Tourangeau et al. (in press) in Human Dimensions of Wildlife.

The Motivation-Values Triangle advanced by Tourangeau et al. (in press) in Human Dimensions of Wildlife.

This new paper has been a little while coming. The survey that we ran in relation to the Wood Turtle Strides program back in Spring 2017 was designed to help us understand whether introducing incentives for conservation into Nova Scotia would have any impact on motivations to do conservation. Already, many farmers in the region voice pretty strong support of biodiversity, using a discourse of ‘balance’. I wondered: if we start paying people to do it, will their more intrinsic motivations get ‘crowded out’? The size of the participant list involved in the program made this hard to answer definitively, but it certainly didn’t seem likely to crowd out conservation motivations for their neighbours to learn about the payments. That first paper came out last year in The Canadian Geographer.

Today, a new paper is out in Human Dimensions of WildlifeBeyond intrinsic: a call to combine scales on motivation and environmental values in wildlife and farmland conservation research, that emerged from a bit of a surprise in that data. The statements we used to measure motivation for carrying out riparian management were based on a well-used scale, but we discovered whenever we used the word ‘wildlife’, responses correlated strongly together. Then-postdoc Wes Tourangeau took this as a challenge and developed a theoretical recommendation about how to explore motivations in such situations, arguing that motivations are entangled with environmental values such as ecocentrism and thus both should be tested.

Climax thinking on the Tantramar

Images of landscape change in the Tantramar/Chignecto used in research led by Ellen Chappell

Images of landscape change in the Tantramar/Chignecto used in research led by Ellen Chappell

Thrilled today to see Ellen Chappell’s first MES paper out in Landscape and Urban Planning, the pre-eminent journal for landscape research, titled ‘Climax thinking, place attachment, and utilitarian landscapes: Implications for wind energy development‘. She explored the natural experiment that happened in the Tantramar/Chignecto area on the isthmus between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia when the Radio Canada International towers came down around the same time as the Sprott Wind Farm went up (images d and e, opposite). She used climax thinking theory in a randomized population mailout survey to understand how residents of the area experienced the loss of utilitarian infrastructure, much of which is now only vestigial, and the addition of wind turbines. Attachment to such infrastructures was not correlated with place attachment or time in place, surprisingly. It turned out that conservatives and males are most attached to that utilitarian infrastructure of the past–they were well established in their ‘climax landscape’–but also that people could acquire attachment to wind turbines in a similar way. Those with higher climax thinking (in terms of attachment to those vestigial utilitarian features) who could see wind turbines from their home currently were more supportive of more wind energy. So, as we found last year in a national survey, exposure to energy infrastructure is an important leverage point to renewable energy support.

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