Designing sustainable, safe and inclusive coastal communities in Atlantic Canada
Future Ocean News is a newsletter produced by Ocean Frontier Institute’s Future Ocean and Coastal Infrastructures (FOCI) research project with the purpose of connecting team members, collaborators, partners, knowledge holders and users, disseminating research, highlighting the work of partners, increasing visibility of highly qualified personnel, and promoting FOCI’s and FOCI-related opportunities and events.
Research in the Making
Perceptions of Climate Change and Social Futures
FOCI’s Work Package on ‘Perceptions of Climate Change and Social Futures’ examines the multiple, and potentially divergent, social perceptions of climate change among the public, experts, media, and policy network actors across Atlantic Canada. It analyses social perceptions of climate change by assessing: i) perceptions of regional climate change; ii) approaches and policy for climate change mitigation and adaption; and iii) policy networks that can be mobilized to address climate change and infrastructure needs.
Improving our understanding of the social perceptions of climate change in these different spheres helps innovate governance infrastructures that can better navigate futures of climate change and social-ecological instability.
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization
The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) is Australia’s national science agency. The Coasts and Ocean (COR) Program in CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere (O&A) undertakes research to inform and support the management of marine resources. This includes fisheries, aquaculture, biodiversity conservation, marine spatial planning, and marine pollution in Australia and internationally. Over the past 4 years, O&A scientists, along with FOCI researchers from Canada, have worked to develop our capability in futures thinking, particularly in foresighting. CSIRO has also hosted visiting FOCI researchers to collaborate with CSIRO partner scientists facilitating international linkages and supporting institutional research exchanges for co-investigators and HQPs. This partnership also involves sharing and comparing research methods, analyses and interpretations and contributing to publishing results. This collaboration with FOCI is strengthening connections between two regions that are experiencing rapid environmental and societal change in coastal regions.
Centre for Marine Socioecology
The Centre for Marine Socioecology (CMS) is a collaboration between the University of Tasmania and CSIRO with support from the Australian Antarctic Division. It was established in 2014 to provide, develop and integrate the inter-disciplinary research capacity required to meet the growing demands on coasts and oceans. By bringing together disciplinary expertise in ocean physics, marine ecology, fisheries and aquaculture, law, economics, sociology, psychology and governance, CMS is engaged in a diverse spectrum of research to meet the needs of coastal communities facing change. CMS is very interested in, and supportive of, the FOCI project focus on ‘infrastructures’ of governance arrangements, strategic planning, and process performance measurement techniques that are required to achieve more sustainable outcomes in the face of change. Current engagement with the consortium includes collaboration on research in strategic foresighting, full-spectrum sustainability evaluation and process performance measurement.
Through joint efforts, FOCI, CSIRO, and CMS facilitated the involvement of the partnership’s first HQP, Dr. Rachel Kelly. In addition, these three organizations have partnered on a major synthesis on ‘foresighting’ that has been submitted for peer review.
Bright Future: Researcher Spotlight
Meet Dr. Christine Knott
Dr. Christine Knott is an interdisciplinary scholar with degrees in Anthropology (BA), Women’s Studies (BA and MWS), Sociology (PhD). She is currently a postdoctoral fellow with the Ocean Frontier Institute (OFI), in the Department of Sociology at Memorial University. Her project fits within the Future Ocean and Coastal Infrastructure (FOCI) research cluster of OFI, and is titled: Inclusion, Social Justice & Equity in Urban and Rural Coastal Communities. She is also a Research Associate with the Ocean Nexus Centre at the University of Washington. Christine’s key areas of interest are the ways the oceans and coastal communities are reconfigured through interactions with political, ecological, economic, and corporate influences along multiple scales, and the implications of (often gendered and racialized) corporate growth strategies on rural and remote coastal communities, work quality, employment-related mobility, and citizen as well as animal rights. These areas of exploration allow Dr. Knott to investigate interactions among resource dependent communities, government policies, global corporate capitalism, labour mobility regimes, and animal enclosure and commodification. Christine’s current research builds on her previous work aiming to better understand the broader social and ecological ramifications of current gendered and racialized labour processes within resource extraction and processing industries.
In collaboration with Dr. Nicole Power and Dr. Madeleine Gustavsson, and in partnership with the Newfoundland and Labrador Social Justice Co-op, her research project considers alternative FOCI infrastructure designs and methods for investigating and achieving social and ecological equity. The main question that centers this project is, how do we create robust coastal communities that are also inclusive, safe, just, and equitable places to live and work? This project links the current climate crisis with historical and current industry infrastructures in coastal communities in Newfoundland and examines how practices and processes challenge or reinforce systems of inequities and oppression that shape our relations to people, marine animals, and the land and sea. Drawing on the theoretical fields of ecofeminism and feminist political ecology, this work connects early feminist fisheries literatures with the relevant theoretical works drawing on resource assemblages and more-than-human world frames, but acknowledges the important work done by ecofeminist scholars that is often missed.
You can check out her research projects and podcast at https://www.fishyfeminist.com.
Don’t Miss the Boat! Ongoing and Upcoming Events
Full Metal Aquatic:
A Future Seas Thriller
A production by the Centre for Marine Socioecology
February 2, 2022
Full Metal Aquatic is a high-stakes action thriller set in the oceans a decade from now. But crucially, the story takes place in two different futures. Working with researchers from the Future Seas project, writers Jordan Prosser and David Finnigan will tell the story of the Reverie's hijacking in the future we hope to see - and in the future we want to prevent. It is designed to be a light-hearted and creative way to explore what our future could feasibly look like, depending on the actions we take now.
People and The Ocean Speaker Series
Next webinar: January 2022 (Date TBD)
OFI's Social Sciences and Humanities Working Group is hosting a series of eight "people and the ocean"-focused webinars. Each webinar will feature a presentation by a marine and coastal SSH expert reflecting on key issues in their field, supplemented by short presentations by two discussants and an open question and answer period involving registrants.
The series as a whole seeks to inform governance and provide an introduction to SSH-led — but increasingly inter- and trans-disciplinary — efforts to understand complex interactions between society, economy, culture, and marine and coastal environments.
January’s presentation will feature Dr. Marloes Kraan.
An Ocean of Opportunities
Ocean Graduate Excellence Network (OGEN)
The Ocean Graduate Excellence Network provides full-spectrum, hands-on graduate training experience designed to equip the next generation of ocean researchers for the global job market. Uniting excellent graduate training with broader experience through partners including industry and government, OGEN builds a unique research nexus.
Sponsored graduate students work on some of industry and government’s most important questions. The combination of valuable research with the experience of training and hands-on learning beyond traditional academia, opens new doors and opportunities. See the OGEN opportunity below.
OGEN Position Opening: Marine Vessel Drag Reduction (Master’s or PhD)
This project aims to develop and characterize smart coatings for marine vessel drag reduction. Earlier studies have shown that superhydrophobic surfaces with this type of coating lead to significant benefits including lower drag and improved corrosion resistance. This project will further investigate GIT’s graphene-based smart coatings and develop new coatings with polymers and nanoparticles for drag reduction purposes. The research will focus on understanding the fundamental surface wettability, adhesion, and particularly the drag reduction mechanism.
Interested candidates should apply immediately to both Marciel Gaier and Xili Duan, including their full curriculum vitae and statement of interest.
from the FOCI Core Team
Dear FOCI Community,
As we near the end of 2021, we are very pleased to reflect on the momentum that the project has been building and the continued progress towards FOCI’s research, training and engagement objectives. The FOCI Consortium has expanded with new partnerships and research teams have welcomed new Highly Qualified Personnel (HQP). Together, we have collected data, hosted and participated in workshops, presentations and public engagement sessions, and have produced a variety of research-related outputs. We plan to launch FOCI’s project website in the new year to help keep the Consortium connected and highlight project initiatives for the public.
On behalf of the project coordination team, we would like to thank everyone for their contributions to the program this year. We look forward seeing what 2022 will bring.
Wishing you an enjoyable and safe holiday season,
The FOCI Core Team
The Future Ocean and Coastal Infrastructures (FOCI) program is facilitating innovative transdisciplinary research and outreach focused on the creative co-design of infrastructures to prepare for change and build safe, sustainable and inclusive communities in Atlantic Canada.
Research Funding was provided by the Ocean Frontier Institute, through an award from the Canada First Research Excellence Fund
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