In June 2014, Partnership for Canada-Caribbean Community Climate Change Adaptation (ParCA) researchers travelled to Shelburne County and the Region of Queens Municipality, Nova Scotia. The team was primarily composed of four master’s students from the University of Waterloo: Shandel Brown, Saveena Patara, Maliha Majeed and Andrea Minano. Other associates from ParCA were able to attend for parts of the trip, including Carolyn Brown (University of Prince Edward Island) and Ahmed Khan (St. Mary’s University).
Each member of the ParCA team had a series of goals to accomplish during this trip. Saveena and Shandel focused on delivering the results of their research based on in-person interviews to community members and stakeholders in the study site. Their secondary role was to share their experiences and contacts with Maliha and Andrea, who are responsible for conducting follow-up research in Shelburne and Queens. Through these meetings, it was possible to gain a more thorough understanding of the current challenges and uncertainties the communities are currently facing in relation to climate change and other socioeconomic issues.
Andrea and Maliha were able to scope the study site and become more aware of the relevance, importance and need of climate change research in the South Shore. Andrea was also able to test a web-mapping pilot tool that asks participants to share local observations of flood and erosion events at the local-scale. Some of this information offered a greater insight to the environmental challenges in the community and an opportunity to personally visit the indicated sites and take geo-tagged photos. The information gathered through the pilot study is highly valuable as these details will now be taken into account for future directions of research.
In the final week of the trip, the team left the South Shore to present at the Coastal Zone Canada conference in Halifax. The presenters at the conference offered an insight to research initiatives in coastal environments, many of which were related to climate change in Nova Scotia. Several ParCA members from the University of Prince Edward Island, St. Mary’s University, University of Waterloo and the University of the West Indies presented at the conference and discussed a wide variety of topics from the role of governance in climate change adaptation to climate change vulnerability assessments using Geographic Information Systems.