OFI Holds Social Science and Humanities Workshop

Part of our mandate here at OFI is to ensure our research modules and consortia are multi-disciplinary. As Phase 2 projects get underway, we wanted to bring our social scientists together in virtual roundtables to discuss the work they are doing and how it is contributing to OFI. On June 25th, OFI hosted two roundtables focused on taking stock of ongoing Phase 1 social science and humanities research and looking forward to work planned for Phase 2.

Thank you to the OFI steering committee members who made the roundtables possible: Barb Neis, Aldo Chircop, Ratana Chuenpagdee, Paul Foley, Howard Ramos, Ian Stewart, Desai Shan and Gerald Singh. 

More than 100 people registered for the event.  During the first hour of the workshop, social science and humanities (SSH) researchers involved in four OFI Phase 1 research Modules responded to questions from the steering committee and from audience members. The participants were: 

  • Charles Mather, Geography, MUN (Module M Social Science and Planning in Coastal Communities
  • Courtenay Parlee – Interdisciplinary postdoctoral fellow, MUN (Module I Informing Governance Responses in a Changing Ocean) 
  • Claudio Aporta, Anthropology, Dalhousie (Modules N Safe Navigation & Environmental Protection https://oceanfrontierinstitute.com/research/safe-navigation-environmental-protection, I)
  • Melina Kourantidou Marine Affairs, Dalhousie, currently at Woods Hole, (Module E Ecosystem Indicators for a Changing Ocean). 

Roundtable participants talked about the core social sciences and/or humanities questions being addressed in phase 1 modules, and how that knowledge was contributing in significant ways to the study of the ocean/marine environment and coastal communities. Discussion also included interactions with ‘natural’ science colleagues, and the impact the societal effects of COVID-19 are having on their research. In the second virtual roundtable, chaired by Aldo Chircop and entitled SSH Research in OFI: Looking Forward participants came from several of the seven large Phase 2 research programs/consortia recently funded by OFI and responded to questions about the core issues they plan to examine, how their work will build on Phase 1 research, and on challenges/opportunities for interdisciplinarity. The participants were:

  • Paul Foley, Political Scientist, Grenfell, MUN (co-lead of Future Ocean and Coastal Infrastructures (FOCI).
  • Joel Finnis, Geographer and climatologist, MUN (FOCI and Module I Phase 1)   
  • Melanie Zurba, School for Resource and Environmental Studies, DAL (Sustainable Nunatsiavut Futures)
  • Stefanie Colombo, Canada Research Chair in Aquaculture Nutrition DAL, (co-lead of One Ocean Health).
  • Katleen Robert, Marine Institute MUN, (co-lead of  Benthic Ecosystem Mapping for Sustainable Ocean Stewardship in a Shifting Ocean Climate [BECoME]).

If you missed the virtual roundtables, you can view the recording here.

Planning is underway for more SSH events in the fall, 2020.