The Pacific Working Group, based at the University of Victoria and the University of British Columbia, is studying human well-being in the face of social-ecological change in Canada’s Pacific Ocean coastal communities. Members of our Working Group have partnered with local communities to conduct policy-relevant research on social-ecological interactions in coastal ocean areas to support marine spatial planning. Research themes include assessing social values of community and coastal resource users and understanding the impacts of climate change on biodiversity and ecosystem valuation. Collectively, our research is generating a better understanding of the socio-cultural, economic and ecological challenges facing coastal communities. We are linking with industry stakeholders and integrating academic research with on-the-ground adaptive management.
In addition to our formal SSHRC partners, Port Metro Vancouver is a project collaborator, and Vancouver Island University is an informal associate of the Pacific Working Group.
In the past year, our main activities have continued to focus on supporting work on the topic of access through the work of post-doctoral fellow Dr. Nathan Bennett, and by supporting the access cross-cutting theme. With partner T. Buck Suzuki Foundation and numerous collaborators, we worked with two Mitacs interns (Dacotah Splichalova and Anna Schubauer) to develop and implement a survey about access and well-being of owner-operator commercial fishers in BC. We obtained more than 100 responses throughout the province, carried out initial analyses, and communicated the findings to several fisher forums. Reports and manuscripts are being prepared from the results of these surveys. The small grants we provided to students during the first half of OCB in the Pacific region continue to bring research to fruition. In particular, two PhD students, Rachelle Beveridge and Charlotte Whitney, finished PhD research and dissertations. We are also supporting several new HQP to complete publications on topics pertinent to the OceanCanada Partnership.
In the past year, the main activities of the Pacific WG have continued to mainly focus on supporting work on the topic of access through the work of post-doctoral fellow Dr. Nathan Bennett. While several of the smaller projects of past years have been completed, progress on analysis, writing, outreach and publishing the results from them continues. In particular, two of our HQP (Rachelle Beveridge and Charlotte Whitney) have continued to advance their PhD research and dissertations, and several other members (Edward Gregr and Tom Okey) have published recent papers stemming from their work. We will also be hosting a final workshop focused on MPAs involving members of the Pacific WG. Many members of the Pacific WG attended the OceanCanada annual conference in Halifax in August 2018, as did our NGO partner, Ecotrust Canada, who has likewise focused on the theme of access within the context of community well-being. They completed the multi-year report “Just Transactions, Just Transitions” and published the Proceedings Report from the 2018 Fisheries for Communities Gathering. They continued to bring forward issues around, and barriers to, access in forums and presentations.
This past year, the Pacific WG has focused its efforts and funding on supporting the Access cross-cutting theme in two ways: by providing partial funding support for a postdoctoral fellowship for Nathan Bennett, and by supporting the workshop that the Access CCT held in Vancouver in June 2017, and research and a workshop co-hosted by Natalie Ban on the social impacts of MPAs. Progress also continues on small projects by WG members. A few examples include:
- a survey questionnaire, sampling plan, and data analysis plan on purchasing seafood in selected Canadian cities to measure consumer preferences related to certain seafood features. The main objective of the survey will be to contribute to assessing the market feasibility of developing and growing alternative seafood businesses in BC and elsewhere in Canada;
- continued work on issues of access, community well-being, and fishermen and community viability. A key milestone was the convening of fisheries and community stakeholders on Pacific access issues;
- understanding the effects of sea otter reestablishment on ecosystem service benefits derived by coastal communities on the west coast of Vancouver Island;
- continued coordination of the Local Environmental Observer (LEO) Network in Coastal British Columbia (leonetwork.org), which is enabling diverse knowledge holders to share observations of unusual environmental change.
This year, the Pacific Working Group made steady progress with ongoing projects which began to yield results, presentations and publications. Our approach has been to support projects and case studies that advance OceanCanada themes. We supported three new projects in 2016/2017, and others continued. Combined, these projects illustrate the diversity of perspectives and topics related to the oceans in BC, and provide a richness of case studies for future OceanCanada-wide integrative activities. We explored opportunities for linking with the three Cross-Cutting Themes and facilitating more integrative thinking at larger scales. More specifically, we did preliminary work to organize an Access Cross-Cutting Theme workshop for June 2017.
Our research activities have been in the following areas:
- marine community support for conservation;
- effects of sea otter reestablishment on the ecosystem in communities on the west coast of Vancouver Island;
- loss, recovery and stewardship of eulachon on the central Pacific coast of BC;
- local benefits from seafood value chains in BC coastal communities;
- ecological indicators, expert perceptions, and local observations;
- assessing changes in rockfish size and distribution for conservation strategies;
- moving from assessment to action on adaptive capacity.
The Pacific Working Group continued to support graduate student projects that involve local communities and industry stakeholders in conducting policy-relevant research investigating human well-being in the face of social-ecological change in Pacific coastal communities. It provided research funds to students through two calls for proposals. One of the funded projects resulted in two graduate students hosting a workshop in November 2015 on adaptive capacity which led to a publication relevant to the broader OceanCanada partnership. In addition, Working Group members presented at various conferences and had numerous publications related to OCP objectives.
Nathan Bennett (Co-Lead), University of British Columbia
Dyhia Belhabib, Ecotrust
Edward Gregr, University of British Columbia
Tom Okey, University of Victoria
Evelyn Pinkerton, Simon Fraser University
Dr. Natalie Ban: Pacific Working Group Co-Lead
Highly Qualified PersonnelExpand
Understanding coastal and Indigenous community access to marine resources and the ocean, governance and management of marine protected areas, and coastal community responses to combined environmental and social changes.
Loss and recovery of the eulachon: a case study of central coast stewardship priorities and perspectives
Measures of adaptive capacity for social-ecological systems in response to climate impacts.
|Year||Presented by||Presentation Title||Location|
|2019||Ban, N.||People in ecology. Pacific Ecology and Evolution Conference.||Bamfield, BC.|
|2019||Ban, N.||Marine conservation research on BC’s central coast: Indigenous-academic partnerships. Outer Shores Expeditions Symposium.||Victoria, BC.|
|2019||Bennett, N.||In peopled seas: Catalyzing insights from the marine social sciences in the ocean sustainability agenda. University of British Columbia||Vancouver, BC|
|2019||Bennett, N.||Using perceptions as evidence in sustainability science. IRES Seminar Series. University of British Columbia||Vancouver, BC|
|2018||Ban, N.||Breaking down disciplinary boundaries: opportunities and challenges in inter- and trans-disciplinary research. Pacific Estuarine Research Society Conference||Everett, WA|
|2018||Ban, N.||Brief on MPAs. Canadian House of Commons standing committee on fisheries and oceans||Ottawa, ON.|
|2018||Ban, N.||Brief on Oceans Act Marine Protected Areas. Presentation to: Canadian House of Commons standing committee on fisheries and oceans||Ottawa, ON.|
|2018||Ban, N.||Integrating Indigenous and scientific knowledge in marine conservation. Parks Canada Agency EcoWebinar.||Online|
|2018||Ban, N.||Marine conservation, fisheries management, and Indigenous rights. Paper presented at: University of Victoria's Dean's Lecture Series||Victoria, BC.|
|2018||Ban, N.||My own journey to becoming a professor, and some reflections/advice. Marine Environmental Observation, Prediction and Response Network Annual Scientific Meeting||Montreal, QC.|
|2018||Ban, N.||A social-ecological systems perspective of rapid change. Coastal Watersheds in the Anthropocene: Understanding Rapid Change and Implication for People and Ecosystems||University of Waterloo, ON.|
|2018||Ban, N; Eckert, L.||Cultural revitalization as a means of moving beyond a social-ecological trap. Resilience Conference||Stockholm, Sweden|
|2018||Bennett, N.||Fast change and social-ecological regime shifts: for whom and how does the bell toll? Catching Ripples in the Water: A Social-Ecological Approach to Understand Abrupt Changes in Coastal Watersheds and Craft Governance Responses. University of Waterloo||Waterloo, ON.|
|2018||Bennett, N.||Coastal and Indigenous community access to marine resources in Canada. Paper presented at: Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference||Seattle, WA.|
|2018||Bennett, N.||How can the social sciences improve conservation? International Congress for Conservation Biology, Society for Conservation Biology||Carrtagena, Columbia.|
|2018||Gregr, EJ; Martone, R; Chan, KMA.||Sea otters and kelp forests: real and potential transformations in blue carbon and resilience. Global Marine Science Summit, University of North Carolina||Wilmington, NC.|
|2018||Kaplan-Hallam M; Bennett, N.||Adaptive social impact management for conservation and environmental management. International Congress for Conservation Biology, Society for Conservation Biology||Carrtagena, Columbia.|
|2018||Whitney, C; Ban, NC.||Perceptions of the influence of climate change on marine spatial planning in coastal social-ecological systems. Resilience Conference||Stockholm, Sweden.|
|2017||Ban, N.||Applied conservation research. Pacific Ecology and Evolution Conference||Bamfield, BC.|
|2017||Ban, N.||Applying empirical estimates of marine protected area effectiveness. Annual Meeting of the Canadian Council on Ecological Areas||Saint John, NB.|
|2017||Ban, N.||Marine protected areas and indigenous rights. Duke University, Beaufort Marine Laboratory||Durham, NC.|
|2017||Ban, N; Ban, SS; Alidina, HM; Okey TA.||A rapid approach for identifying potential marine climate change refugia: A case study in Canadas Pacific marine ecosystems. International Marine Conservation Congress||St Johns, NL.|
|2017||Ban, N; Ban, SS; Alidina, HM; Okey, TA; Gregg, RM.||Identifying potential marine climate change refugia in Canada's Pacific. Salish Sea Conference||Vancouver, BC.|
|2017||Ban, N; Burt, JM; Atkins, P; Latham, E; Beck, M; Salomon, AK.||Marine protected area network design features that support resilient human-ocean systems: applications for British Columbia, Canada. International Marine Conservation Congress||St Johns, NL.|
|2017||Ban, N; Davies TE; Aguilera SE; Brooks C; Cox M||Epstein G; Evans LS; Maxwell S.; Global assessment of the governance effectiveness of large-scale MPAs. International Marine Conservation Congress||St Johns, NL.|
|2017||Ban, N; Frid A.||Community-academic research partnerships to support MSP implementation: example from British Columbia, Canada. International Marine Conservation Congress||St Johns, NL.|
|2017||Ban, N; Jacob AL; Cripps K; Darimont CT; Silver JM; Wood SA.||Managing shellfish aquaculture and nature-based tourism in BC's Great Bear Sea. International Marine Conservation Congress||St Johns, NL.|
|2017||Bennett, N.||Conservation social science: understanding and integrating human dimensions to improve local to global conservation policy and practice. Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability (IRES) Seminar Series (UBC)||Vancouver, BC.|
|2017||Bennett, N.||Making real progress on marine protected areas in Canada. All Party Ocean Caucus||Ottawa, ON.|
|2017||Bennett N; Alexander S; Klain S; Pittman J.||Contributions of perceptions to evidence-based marine conservation and management. International Marine Conservation Congress||St Johns, NL.|
|2017||Gregr, EJ; Martone, R; Chan, KMA.||How sea otters are changing coastal ecosystem services: abundance, habitats, and trade-offs. West Coast Aquatic Management Board||Port Alberni, BC.|
|2017||Milko, H.||Identifying best practices in fisheries monitoring and stewardship training for First Nations Youth. Paper presented at: at OceanCanadaConference||Vancouver, BC.|
|2017||Milko, H; Pinkerton, E.||Dilemmas in First Nations' monitoring of LNG developments on the Skeena River Watershed. Salish Sea Conference||Vancouver, BC.|
|2017||Olmsted, P.||Social impact investing for ecological conservation. Salish Sea Conference||Vancouver, BC.|
|2017||Whitney, C; Bennett, N.||Adaptive capacity: from assessment to action in social-ecological systems. Salish Sea Conference||Vancouver, BC.|
|2016||Ban, N.||Enhancing ecosystem resilience: integrating social and natural sciences through marine historical ecology. Annual Scientific Meeting of the Marine Environmental Observation and Prediction network||Vancouver, BC.|
|2016||Ban, N.||Identifying marine refugia. Fisheries and Oceans Canada at the Institute of Ocean Sciences||Sidney BC, and at Pacific Biological Station, Nanaimo, BC.|
|2016||Ban, N.||Introduction to Community Conservation Research Network: my research interests and networks. Community Conservation Research Network Annual Meeting||Tofino, BC.|
|2016||Ban, N; Cox M; Davies T; Epstein, G; Evans, LS; Nenadovic, M; Maxwell, S; Brooks, C; Aguilera, S.||Governing large-scale social-ecological systems: marine protected areas. International Association for the Study of the Commons conference||Edmonton, AB.|
|2016||Milko, H.||Keeping the next generation on the water: opportunities and barriers to continuing Aboriginal engagement with the ocean in northern British Columbia. International Association for the Study of the Commons Conference||Edmonton, AB.|
|2016||Milko, H.||Moving beyond "observe, record, report"? Aboriginal resource guardian programs as an alternative model of marine governance. Canadian Association of Geographers Annual General Meeting||Vancouver, BC.|
|2016||Olmstead, P.||Enhancing stewardship through monetary mechanisms? A new approach for Conservation Finance. Canadian and US Societies for Ecological Economics Conference||Vancouver, BC.|