Landscapes - People - Global change

Tag: social media (Page 1 of 4)

New paper: social media methods for SIA

Synthesis figure in the new Current Sociology paper showing sample workflows within a range of possibilities.

This week a new open access paper came out in a special issue (monograph) of Current Sociology about Social Impact Assessment. The special issue was led by Guadalupe Ortiz and Antonio Aledo, and their introductory essay is worth a read, as is Frank Vanclay’s epilogue, reflecting on 50 years of SIA and asking “is it still fit for purpose?”. Our offering, Social media and social impact assessment: Evolving methods in a shifting context, reflects on a decade of research using mostly Instagram to understand the social impacts of developments such as hydroelectricity, wind energy and coastal dyke realignment. The above demonstrates the current state of the art in terms of workflows, and shows how several of our studies have navigated those options. The paper also talks about the challenges, practical and ethical, of using social media datasets, and calls for government support in securing ongoing access for the purposes of public good research, a topic also recently argued by Ethan Zuckerman in Prospect Magazine. Most of the work synthesized in this paper has been published elsewhere, except the brilliant work that Mehrnoosh Mohammadi did on developing a collage approach to communicating common features in social media images to protect both copyright and privacy concerns (see below). This is a method we advocated back in 2017 and it is wonderful to see it in action.

A collage by Mehrnoosh Mohammadi of 16 photos captured in NS vineyards and posted on Instagram, showing seasonal change from left to right.

New culturomics paper mapping CES using Instagram

Figure 2 process flowchart of the new Zhao et al. paper in Marine Policy

Another nice lab output this week in Marine Policy led by Qiqi Zhao, a China Scholarship Council visiting PhD student in my lab last year, including a bunch of other lab-affiliated students as co-authors: Modelling cultural ecosystem services in agricultural dykelands and tidal wetlands to inform coastal infrastructure decisions: a social media data approach. It is a bit of a companion piece to the Chen et al (2020) piece in Ocean and Coastal Management, as it uses the same Instagram dataset collected for every dykeland area in Nova Scotia back in 2018, but in a very different way. Chen et al. took a very qualitative ‘small data’ approach to the dataset, analyzing the photographs (and accounts) only of posts that included the words dyke*/dike*/wetland/marsh in the captions. Zhao et al. used a ‘big data’ text mining approach, extracting and associating bi-grams (two-word strings) from geolocated post captions to particular cultural ecosystem services (CES), modelling those CES using SolVES and comparing (as with Chen et al.) dykeland and wetland services. Whereas Chen et al. only found direct mentions of freshwater marshes (specifically Miner’s Marsh), in Zhao et al. we leveraged the coordinates to locate those geolocated to tidal wetland sites.  This will help us better understand the tradeoffs associated with climate change-driven adaptations of the dykeland system in the Bay of Fundy, the focus of NSERC ResNet Landscape 1.

Mehrnoosh’s defense

Mehrnoosh Mohammadi defending her MES thesis on Dec 3, 2021, online.

Mehrnoosh Mohammadi defending her MES thesis on Dec 3, 2021, online.

Proud to see Mehrnoosh Mohammadi ably defend her MES about energy infrastructure in vineyards on Friday, starting with a strong presentation of the mixed methods and findings, followed by questions from her committee and examiner and an in camera deliberation. I’ve never seen so many guests at a defense; Mehrnoosh had many friends and family calling in from near and far to support her, as well as a few students and other scholars.  My SRES colleague Dr. Michelle Adams was an excellent examiner, bringing lots of ideas from her work at the interface of sustainability and business, and my former postdoc Dr. H. M. Tuihedur Rahman provided wonderful support as committee member and stats expert. Dr. Heather Cray chaired it in record time. The work was funded by SSHRC, thanks to an IDG led by Dr. Kirby Calvert, a Nova Scotia Graduate Scholarship, and a Parya Scholarship. Thanks to all who helped it happen, and of course congratulations to Mehrnoosh.

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 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.

« Older posts

© 2024 Kate Sherren

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑