Kate Sherren at Dalhousie University is co-leading the Atlantic landscape node of a new NSERC Strategic Partnership Grant for Networks called NSERC ResNet (led by Elena Bennett at McGill) which seeks to use ecosystem services thinking and modelling to resolve complex decision-making issues in production landscapes. The Atlantic case study landscape is the Bay of Fundy dykeland system, which has largely replaced its salt marshes with drained agricultural land starting with French settlement in the 1600s (read more here https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0264837715003749). Sea level rise and increasing storm activity means difficult decisions on which dykes should be reinforced for agricultural persistence, which may need to be shortened to reduce infrastructure burdens, and where tidal marsh restoration may be feasible to provide natural protections. The early years of NSERC ResNet will see us exploring ecosystem service delivery from dykelands and marshes, and intermediary states, to inform those decisions.

Sherren is looking for up to two students to begin Masters of Environmental Studies (MES) with her at Dalhousie (https://www.dal.ca/academics/programs/graduate/environmental-studies/program-details.html) to tackle research on how settlers and Mi’kmaq use and value the drained agricultural land (dykelands) and the salt marshes they replaced (and to which sections will return if abandoned or realigned). Opportunities for students as part of NSERC ResNet are many and include additional training opportunities as well as national and international internships and networking. Candidates should be socially curious, ideally trained in social science fields (e.g. first degrees in Geography, Environmental Studies, Sociology, Anthropology, Planning) and interested in methods such as quantitative surveys and/or semi-structured interviews. Canadians and permanent residents in Canada will be given preference, but they are extremely keen to hear from students who identify as belonging to equity-seeking groups (This helps clarify what that means to Dalhousie: https://cdn.dal.ca/content/dam/dalhousie/pdf/dept/hres/Self-ID-prospective-employees-2017.pdf. Aboriginal students are particularly encouraged to apply.

Please contact Kate Sherren to express interest (have a look here first http://katesherren.org/how-to-express-interest-in-working-with-me/), and be prepared to provide a c.v., unofficial transcripts, and evidence of English competency and skill.