In our 4th round of summer blog posts, Hannah is telling us about a workshop in Landscape 6 with their indigenous collaborators. Hannah is a PhD candidate at Simon Fraser University under the supervision of Anne Salomon.
Hannah alongside the rest of the team of landscape 6, organised a workshop in British Columbia with Indigenous Collaborators and their knowledge holders. The focus was on centring L6’s indigenous collaborators and their knowledge holders, so only a few scientists were invited to bear witness and lead some discussions. A safe space was created in which the Hereditary chiefs discussed how they envision their future. The relationship of sea otters-shellfish-people-kelp was debated, and how the desired future can be achieved while upholding cultural protocol. Hannah reflects, that she and the other invited scientists learned a lot, especially how to decolonise their methods and how to let go of the rigorous academic process.
In our third instalment of our HQP summer series you will hear Yiyi Zhang's take on the ESA CSEE 2022! Yiyi is a PhD student on our theme 2 who had the opportunity to present her own research at the conference! Here's what she had to say about the experience:
I presented my research and was greatly supported by people from the ResNet network at my presentation. I also met Human Ecology Section committee I am part of and co-organizers of a mixer event I helped with. I met other many interesting and inspiring presenters and participants at some of the sessions and mixers.
Throughout the conference, I explored different sessions on different topics at different scales ranging from local to global and from past to future (e.g., historical context of data, seed initiatives). I learned from ecologists specialized in specific ecosystems (e.g., agriculture) and ecological components (e.g., pollinators, soil), engaged in education and communication, and experienced in different career paths. I felt very supported at my presentation where I shared models linking ecosystem services beneficiaries and supply. At the ResNet session, I enjoyed celebrating with the team the various accomplishments our researchers had. Through helping with and participating in a social event, I connected with researchers who share the interest in human dimension of ecology and developed an interest in organizing events. I also enjoyed interactions with theorists and empiricists focused on different theories and empirical contexts at another social event. I also spent some time enjoying the pleasant views of the city with participants new to Montreal and had thoughtful conversations about researching and teaching ecology on our walk. At the Human Ecology Section business meeting, I was elected VP and will continue my involvement in the Section including planning events for next year's ESA.
I really appreciate the opportunity to do research at ResNet and the support from our enthusiastic and knowledgeable memebers. I look forward to being in touch with connections I made during the conference again and contributing to the Human Ecology section where I had unique and important experience and memories.
The second entry for the HQP summer travel series, is contributed by Hugo Thierry, a Post Doc from T1! Hugo is currently working on modelling the supply and demand flows of Ecosystem Services across Canada for decision making purposes.
Hugo, among many other ResNet researchers, attended the ESA in Montreal in late August. As he is currently based at McGill, he had a short travel to the conference, yet it was his first big event in two years. During the conference, Hugo presented his own work in one of the sessions as seen in the pictures. The ESA conference was a great event to chat with ResNet colleagues but also to connect with the network’s collaborators and see what everyone has been working on. From a ResNet led session, to individual presentations and discussion panels, Hugo says that this year’s conference “helped to take a step back and get the bigger picture of the ResNet project”.
If you want to learn more about Hugo’s work and contributions to T1, please check out his website here.
Welcome to our first instalment of our HQP Summer Travel Series! This series will highlight some of the exciting trips that our HQPs went on this summer through the HQP mobility fund. We begin our series with an entry from Theme 2 PhD candidate Ehsan Pashanejad. Ehsan had a busy summer involving both a field trip to the Prairies for his research and a trip to Montréal for this year's ESA conference!
In a single word, both the field trip and ESA were awesome! The ESA was the ever-big meeting for me so far and I had the opportunity to learn from different perspectives and see various up-to-date presentations and lectures.
But the greatest takeaways from my prairie field trip. I can summarize in a few bullet points:
The field trip and ESA were both an eye opener and I hope there will be such opportunities again in the future as I am moving forward in my research to be engaged with the local context of ecosystem service modelling.
Ehsan Pashanejad is a PhD student at the University of British Columbia. You can read more about his research with theme 2 by visiting his profile here.
Emily Wells is a Master of Environmental Studies student in Dalhousie University’s School for Resource and Environmental Studies. With her supervisor, Dr. Kate Sherren, her work focuses on how the Mi’kmaq value, relate to, and approach coastal adaptation in Landscape One, Nova Scotia’s Bay of Fundy dykelands. Her full profile is available here.
The International Association for Society and Natural Resources (IASNR) is a prestigious, international community of social scientists, policy makers, and practitioners that study and manage human relationships with the environment and natural resources. IASNR hosts an annual conference for its members with the primary objectives of sharing and enhancing scientific understandings of society-natural resource relationships and facilitating cross-sectoral collaboration among social scientists (students, faculty, and industry), policy makers, and practitioners in these fields.
I had the privilege of attending the 2022 IANSR conference at the University of Costa Rica in San José from June 26-29. Costa Rica is a global leader in conservation and presented an ideal venue to deliberate the conference’s theme, Sustainable Development in Practice: Integrating People, Place, and Policy. I contributed a poster describing the preliminary results of my research on relational values in Indigenous contexts – if you’re curious to read more, refer to the information box below:
Connecting Relational Values to Their Embedded Concepts
Synthesizing concepts derived from human-nature relationships in Indigenous contexts to assess their contribution to relational values discourses
Since the establishment of Ecosystem Services (ES) or, more recently, Nature’s Contributions to People (NCP), discourses around environmental assessment have evolved from prioritizing instrumental values (i.e., how does nature benefit people?) and intrinsic values (i.e., what is nature’s inherent value, independent of people?) to include relational values. Relational values are shown to better align with land-based worldviews, such as those of many Indigenous people.
Relational values comprise a range of concepts that themselves have a rich history and literature that is not being clearly connected to relational values discourses. Working specifically in Indigenous contexts, this study aims to locate relational value concepts and situate them within the typologies of the current discourses on relational values. The author employed a scoping review methodology to locate and thematically code studies that feature relevant concepts.
This study demonstrated that discussions around the antecedents of relational values and their specific Indigenous expressions bring further context to and enrich relational value discourses. We identified the relevance of particular relational values in Indigenous contexts, outlined the language used to describe these values, and presented emergent concepts that aligned closely with Indigenous ethics. Engaging with these parallel literatures may strengthen the goals of relational values, such as bridging knowledge systems and promoting sustainability, while identifying Indigenous-specific relational values is also critical for meaningful collaboration and contribution to relational value assessments and, more broadly, co-management decisions.
During the main conference days, I attended presentations, workshops, and organized sessions on numerous topics that all centred on the intersections of natural resources and societies. Practitioners and researchers shared emerging knowledge on topics like stakeholder engagement in social-ecological systems (SES), Indigenous action, innovative qualitative method tools, ecological restoration, and coastal and marine management. If you’re familiar with ResNet’s Landscape One (L1), you can appreciate the uncanny alignment between these topics and our own research. I was in my niche. I am coming away from these sessions with practical lessons for my work, such as relevant theories and soon-to-be-released papers, as well as direct connections with the experts that are advancing knowledge in these fields.
Gratefully, there was an abundance of spaces and opportunities to connect with these experts informally outside of the sessions. I attended a pre-conference field trip to Tapantí National Park, a student forum, and a closing banquet on the hilltops that overlook the nation’s expansive capital city, San José. As a COVID-era graduate student, I have had limited opportunities to expand my professional and academic network, especially in-person. I am also new to social sciences, making the IASNR conference an exceptional opportunity to cross pollinate with people that share my interests and fields. I became more adept at identifying common interests with potential mentors and colleagues, which led to more meaningful and fruitful conversations. My contact list grew exponentially with each day of the conference. I am leaving the conference feeling energized and excited about future research, practice, and networking.
Moving forward, I am preparing my literature review results presented at the conference into a manuscript. I am contacting key colleagues from IASNR to establish ongoing relationships through mentorship and occasional coffee dates.
I am indebted to numerous people for the opportunity to attend IASNR 2022. I would first like to thank Dr. Kate Sherren, my supervisor and the L1 co-lead, for providing generous and continuous support throughout my thesis, including this literature review and conference. Her long-standing involvement in IASNR became a great conversation starter, and she was highly encouraging of me attending and making the most of it. Second, I thank the IASNR conference organizers for pulling together an impactful and safe conference; I can hardly imagine the challenges of organizing an in-person event for such a volume of people from around the world, yet they did so (seemingly) seamlessly. Finally, I would like to thank the many bodies that fund my learning: Dalhousie’s Department of Graduate Studies (DAGS) provided a travel grant for this excursion, while Nova Scotia’s Department of Agriculture, the Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Canadian Graduate Scholarship (CGS-M), and, of course, NSERC ResNet fund my thesis. ¡Muchas gracias!