Tales from the field: Queen Elizabeth Scholar in Pakistan

Sajida Awan, shares her time in the field in Pakistan’s southern province Sindh. 


Even just in the second month of me being in the field in Pakistan’s southern province Sindh and its historic city Hyderabad, I already started savouring the sweet test of the combo meal of cultural richness, marvels of diversity and a tricky collage of resilience and vulnerability.

Ocean and Coastal Sustainability- World's Oceans Day

On June 8, another World's Oceans Day (WOD) came and went without a lot of fanfare. Even so, WOD’s a good reminder that Canada is an ocean nation. That might seem pretty abstract at times for those of us living in southern Ontario. With three oceans (*can you name them?) and the world’s longest coast - all 244,000 beautiful kilometres of coast - we owe it to ourselves to pay more attention to 'life below water'.

Advancing research and beyond: Impressions on an ecosystem services summer school

12th ALTER-Net summer school
August 30 – September 10, 2017

ALTER-Net summer school was a laboratory on what it means to be a scientist – personally and professionally. The summer school is organized every year by ‘A Long-Term Biodiversity, Ecosystem and Awareness Research Network’ (ALTER-Net), a European network. Its 12th edition, “Biodiversity, ecosystem services: Science and its impact on policy and society”, focused on putting science into practice and demystifying myths about academia.

‘Finding a Home’: Reflections on Resilience 2017

Resilience 2017, Stockholm, Sweden (August 20-23, 2017)

Before I began my PhD, my Master’s supervisor encouraged me to “find a home” with a community of scholars and practitioners with whom I could share my ideas and engage in discussions. I have heard other scholars mention the importance of their homes, when they say things like, “I am going to this conference because these are my people.”

Exploring Access Issues in Coastal and Marine Social-Ecological Systems in Canada

On World Oceans Day (June 8, 2017), we met for a 2-day workshop at the University of British Columbia to discuss oceans and fisheries access issues in Canada. Access cluster co-leads – Megan Bailey and Nathan Bennett – organized the workshop in order to launch the OceanCanada Access working group, with the goals of taking stock of access issues in Canada, as well as identifying the linkages between access and the wellbeing of coastal communities.

Building Narratives Through our Connections with Nature

Another doom and gloom story, another reason to disengage. Even the most passionate students around me toil with feelings of apathy and desensitization when we hear about our impending doom as millennials. Sustainability discourse reminds us that we’ve been dealt a rough hand when it comes to the significant environmental threats we will face, and we’re only the first wave of ‘future generations’ who will encounter them.

An inside look at the Collaborative Water Program

Dedicating my life and studies to the world of water is one of the most beautiful accidents that has ever happened to me. This accidental foray into water began for me in 2014. With a background in global studies, I found myself working as a sustainable development intern in The Gambia with low-tech waste water systems and community-based water solutions. Continue reading An inside look at the Collaborative Water Program.

Enhancing the achievability of SDG 6

The United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are centered around the ideas of social and environmental justice. Within each goal, the targets seek to address both human and environmental issues – to strike a balance between the needs of our species and the planet that gives us life. Continue reading Enhancing the achievability of SDG 6.

Governance across the Land-Sea Interface: Challenges and Opportunities

In the context of increasing pressures on the land-sea interface, the role of governance is a potentially important, yet unfortunately an understudied consideration in our pursuit of sustainability. Existing governance can set the course for the fragmented decision-making that currently spawns many inappropriate uses of coastal areas and watersheds (e.g., land-clearing for agriculture without considering reef sedimentation).

Uncertainty in the Bay of Fundy

Last week, I attended the “Fundy in Flux: Challenges for Science, Policy and Society” science workshop, hosted by the Bay of Fundy Ecosystem Partnership (BoFEP) in Fredericton. BoFEP is a transdisciplinary partnership which promotes ecological integrity, biodiversity, and productivity for the wellbeing of coastal communities.