ECGG News Archive

August 2016: ECGG’s Jeremy Pittman and the Conservation Planning Group’s Jorge Álvarez-Romero recently teamed up on a blog post about governance across the land-sea interface based on a session at the International Marine Conservation Congress (July 30 to August 3, 2016 in St. John’s, NL). The session was organized by Jeremy and Derek Armitage, and included scholars working around the world on land-sea sustainability issues. ECGG’s Prateep Nayak also presented in the session. You can read the blog here.

August 2016: Evan Andrews has won the graduate student prize for his paper, “Diverse knowledge types for hydroelectric dam management: Empirical evidence for a two-eyed seeing approach in the Saskatchewan River Delta” through the Society for the Policy Sciences. Congratulations!

June 2016: Congratulations to Sajida Awan, Ashok Selvaraj and Steven Alexander on graduating from their programs at the University of Waterloo! All three have had many successes and have made impressive contributions to their programs, fields of research, and to ECGG. Steven Alexander was also named a 2016 recipient of an “Outstanding Achievement in Graduate Studies” award.

June 2016: ECGG members continue to publish compelling articles. Our 2016 publications can be found here. Of note is a new paper published by Kaitlyn Rathwell and Derek Armitage in Ecology and Society, which has been profiled on the Glacierhub blog: Indigenous Art Promotes Resilience to Climate Change. This paper is one of the first of its kind to empirically assess the role of art and artistic processes as a source of knowledge and insight about environmental change.

June 2016: Spring has been conference season for several ECGG members, and various meetings have been important venues for knowledge sharing and collaboration. Derek Armitage, Prateep Nayak, Cheryl Chan, Evan Andrews, and Graham Epstein all presented at the Coastal Zone Canada conference from June 12-16 in Toronto. The theme of the conference was “Coastal Futures; Resilience through Collaboration”. Irene Brueckner-Irwin presented a poster at the Bay of Fundy Ecosystem Partnership biennial science workshop from June 8-10 in Fredericton. The theme of the meeting was “Fundy in Flux: Challenges for Science, Policy and Society”. You can read about her experience at the workshop in our blog.

May 2016: Five members of ECGG attended the OceanCanada Partnership (OCP) Conference at the University of British Columbia from May 24-27 in Vancouver. More than 50 partners attended for a productive multi-disciplinary meeting about OCP’s core themes and collaboration as the partnership moves forward.

May 2016: Congratulations to the ECGG members who have recently received awards to pursue their research! Evan Andrews and Cheryl Chan have both been awarded Ontario Graduate Scholarships. Irene Brueckner-Irwin has been awarded a SSHRC Canada Graduate Scholarship. Dani Lindamood has been awarded both the David Johnston International Experience Award and a Mitacs Globalink Research Award to study in India. The School of Environment, Enterprise and Development has written about her success here.

April 2016: ECGG member, Jeremy Pittman, was part of a recent paper that documented the lessons learned over the last few decades for conducting inter- and transdisciplinary research on socio-environmental systems. The paper highlights (1) the benefits of co-design and co-production, (2) the need for comprehensive planning and adaptive project management, and (3) the value of engaging with diverse knowledge. The paper was led by Dr. Billie Lee Turner II from Arizona State University, and it is published in Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability.

April 2016: Congratulations to Noori Khan for being selected as one of 25 finalists in SSHRC’s annual Storytellers contest. This nation-wide contest challenges post-secondary students to show Canadians how research is affecting our world for the better. Noori’s video, “Coastal Changes: A Case-Study of Fisheries in Chilika Lagoon” can be viewed here. She will go on to compete in The Storytellers Showcase at the 2016 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences later this spring in Calgary.

April 2016: Steven Alexander, Mark Andrachuk, and Derek Armitage have just published an article in
Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment to help researchers and practitioners explore governance networks and the social relationships that influence community-based conservation. They identify three “waypoints” to think about the networks of actors who influence conservation practice, examine the values and interests of diverse actors in governance, and consider how the structure and dynamics of networks can reveal insights for community-based conservation at multiple scales and levels.

March 2016: Congratulations to Cheryl Chan for winning the runner-up prize in the University of Waterloo’s Three Minute Thesis (3MT) final competition! Cheryl competed against 17 other finalists from across all university faculties with her thesis topic, “Fish for our future: A community-based approach to marine conservation.” See the winners’ information on the University of Waterloo’s 3MT website.

March 2016: In their new publication in the International Journal of the Commons, Abdullah Mamum, Ryan Brook, and Thomas Dyck examine how capacity development tools were supportive in implementing co-management of fisheries and other resources in southern Bangladesh. Using a governance lens, they investigated six cases to understand co-management approaches used to develop local capacity. Their findings show that a variety of capacity-enhancing strategies have had mixed results in developing governance that supports livelihoods.

March 2016: Congratulations to Cheryl Chan and Danielle Lindamood, both of whom competed in the Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition in the Faculty of Environment. Cheryl Chan will pitch her research about marine protected areas, wellbeing, and ecosystem services once again – she has been selected to represent the Faculty of Environment at the university-wide 3MT competition later this month.

February 2016: Congratulations to Prateep Nayak who has been invited to join the Human Dimensions Working Group of the internationally recognized Integrated Marine Biogeochemistry and Ecosystem Research (IMBER) program. The HDWG focuses on interactions between human and ocean systems, and the role of human institutions in mitigating anthropogenic perturbations of the ocean system, and in fostering adaptation to change.

February 2016: Derek Armitage has joined a unique initiative to incorporate human dimensions and governance issues into the management of Pacific herring. The Ocean Modeling Forum is bringing together scientists and managers to generate integrated social-ecological assessments to improve decision making on ocean issues of critical importance.

February 2016: Congratulations to Steve Alexander and Jeremy Pittman, both of whom have been awarded a prestigious post-doctoral fellowship. Steve will be based at the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) in Maryland, while Jeremy will be taking up a Liber Ero Fellowship. Further details here.

February 2016: Kaitlyn Rathwell recently gave a keynote talk and performance on her work about bridging knowledge systems through art at the ‘Combining 2 Cultures (C2C)’. C2C is an annual conference for students pursuing interdisciplinary post-secondary education.

February 2016: Jeremy Pittman worked with Holm Tiessen and Elma Montaña from the
Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research (IAI) to examine how researchers make the transition from disciplinary to interdisciplinary research and how funders can facilitate these transitions. Their findings, recently published in
Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, suggest that a mix of networking, mentorship, and learning help researchers make the jump towards interdisciplinarity. Pittman et al.’s research was part of a broader initiative,
led by Dr. Hal Mooney and funded by the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center, examining the value of interdisciplinary research in multiple case studies from around the globe.

January 2016: In their recently published article in PLoS ONE, Samantha Berdej and Derek Armitage highlight the importance of bridging organizations on governance outcomes for marine conservation, by mapping the social connections in two conservation networks in Indonesia. Bridging organizations connect diverse social actors for collaboration and information exchange, with implications for effective governance and conservation. Learn about their findings from the Faculty of Environment.

December 2015: Mark Andrachuk and Derek Armitage have published a paper in Ecology and Society that characterizes social-ecological transformations in the Cau Hai lagoon, Vietnam, by applying local knowledge and perceptions of resource-users. The paper demonstrates the multitude of interacting factors that drive social-ecological transformations that are beyond the control of any one individual or group.

October 2015: Steve Alexander is part of an international team of scientists who are advocating for more meaningful and effective collaboration with local communities and researchers. Opinion papers in Frontiers in Marine Science and National Geographic focus on marine conservation for small-island states, encouraging researchers to build long-term relationships, align priorities with local interests, enhance local capacity, and share research products. See also UWaterloo write-up.

October 2015: Establishment of co-management for Jamaican marine reserves has benefitted from the presence of institutional entrepreneurs, tightly connected social networks of fishers, and the ways that community-based organizations have formed multi-level relationships. These findings from Steve Alexander’s PhD research, based on social network analysis, helped identify ways to build social capital and leadership for improving co-management success.

September 2015: The Coral Triangle Initiative is a groundbreaking effort to coordinate marine conservation efforts among six nations in Southeast Asia. Some conservation challenges have been framed as a “crisis” and others have been framed as an opportunity to build social-ecological resilience. Samantha Berdej, Mark Andrachuk and Derek Armitage offer insights on how these competing narratives can influence conservation priorities and on-the-ground practices.

September 2015: As part of his Master’s research for the Sustainability Management program, Ashok Selvaraj travelled to Khirisahi Island in the Chilika Lagoon (India) to investigate how villagers perceive and adapt to environmental change. Among a series of recommendations, Ashok found that increasing the voice of minority fishers in policy-making and returning to traditional fishing techniques were key for supporting villagers.

August 2015: Climate change adaptation requires new types of leadership. As a chapter author in a new book, Brad May looks at the role that social-ecological inventories can play in catalyzing leadership at the community level.

August 2015: Kaitlyn Rathwell led a new paper with Derek Armitage and Fikret Berkes (University of Manitoba) that helps think through and make sense of the different ‘settings’ in which knowledge bridging takes place. The paper, published in The Commons Journal, also touches on the implications of bridging knowledge systems for environmental governance.

July 2015: Nunavut’s Climate Change Centre has featured Kaitlyn Rathwell’s community report on her PhD research. With an intent to bridge knowledge systems to inform science and policy, Kaitlyn’s report shows how she worked with artists to learn about the ways that they make sense of environmental change.

June 2015: New approaches are required to understand water resource protection issues in First Nations communities. Thomas Dyck’s PhD research uses a multi-barrier approach to reveal the importance of local attitudes, cultural practices, legislation and regulations, and relationships in three Ontario FN communities.

June 2015: Samantha Berdej, Cheryl Chan, Prateep Nayak, and Derek Armitage headed to beautiful Tofino, British Columbia this month to participate in a Community Conservation Research Network (CCRN) meeting and helped set the project’s research agenda for the next three years: how can communities initiate and participate in environmental conservation and stewardship?

June 2015: Recent ECGG PhD Abdullah Al Mamum’s paper in Fisheries and Aquaculture Journal argues that capacity building within fisheries co-management programs should use a needs-based approach that supports local livelihoods.

May 2015: Gurus of commons scholarship have valuable insights on the history of commons research and diverse personal stories about how they ended up in this field. Sajida Awan, Cheryl Chan, and Fatima Khan collected stories from 11 Gurus and reflect on prospects for their own commons research in The Commons Digest.

May 2015: What are the emerging concepts that will guide the future of adaptive management? A group of ECGG members shared their thoughts in the Adaptive Management of Social-ecological Systems book.

March 2015: Collaboration led by Graham Epstein (Ostrom Workshop, Indiana U.) and Jeremy Pittman has resulted in a new paper that develops a typology of three types of fit between institutions and social-ecological systems.

March 2015: Key science-policy processes for effective water governance have been synthesized by Derek Armitage and colleagues in a new Ambio paper.

March 2015: Ahmed Khan has been busy pulling together research papers on Ebola and the food security nexus in West Africa and ecosystem-based adaptation and marine spatial planning in Seychelles.

February 2015: Prateep Nayak continues to bring governance insights for coastal lagoons to life as lead author on two new publications:
(1) Chapter on institutional pluralism, multilevel arrangements and polycentrism in a new book edited by M. Bavinck and A. Jyotishi.
(2) Nayak, Armitage and Andrachuk paper on power & politics of regime shifts in coastal lagoons in Regional Environmental Change.

November 2014: Steve Alexander and Jeremy Pittman are getting started on a new SESYNC-funded project looking at the role of governance in dealing with surprises.

December 2014: Opportunities now open for incoming grad students (MES and PhD) on the OceanCanada project! PhD applicants should also look at the Faculty of Environment’s new funding initiative.

Fall 2014: Several new ECGG-led publications are recently available online:
J. Pittman et al. on governance for climate change in the Caribbean in Marine Policy.
P. Nayak et al. on threats to social-ecological resilience in India and Brazil in Ecology & Society.
S. Alexander commentary in Aquatic Conservation on social dimensions of marine protected area networks.

October 2014: Derek Armitage is a partner on the recently announced OceanCanada Partnership that will look at approaches for how to build resilience for our coastal communities and marine ecosystems. Team members involved with the coastal communities component met in Port Mouton, Nova Scotia to kick off the project and were featured in local news.

October 2014: Prateep Nayak and Mark Andrachuk joined Micaela Trimble (Uruguay) for a seminar on small-scale fisheries at Brock University’s Environmental Sustainability Research Centre. Video of the seminar is available on Youtube.

September 2014: ECGG had a large representation at the 2nd World Small-scale Fisheries Congress in Merida, Mexico.