Shaping papers and plans

This week hasn’t been an amazing success on the writing front, but I have still been reading, discussing, and trying to shape manuscript and post-doc writing plans through figures, outlines, a few new data sources.

I read two interesting articles on The Nature of cities blog, both which continued to fuel the shaping of possible post-doc project proposals (and how I can shape my current work to feed into these future goals). The first talked about cities as mines, and cities vulnerable to non-urban resource extraction. Of course a lot of what I do is trying to understand how we can use cities as P sources (mines), and also the role of cities in managing P in the larger food system to minimize extraction. It was particularly interesting to find out that a new mining project in New York state might affect Montrealers because we are at the end of the watershed. My interest in nesting urban dynamics into larger temporal and spatial scales, and my desire to conduct cross-city comparisons was definitely strengthened. The second post was about using simulation models to engage the public, and creating models the incorporate technological, organizational, and social solutions to local context variable to create future scenarios and visioning about urban P sustainability has been in my mind since my Master’s degree. I haven’t had the time (and have yet to develop the full skill set I think I need) during my PhD, but reading the blog post reinvigorated my determination to apply for money to do such a project with collaborators.

Although I think I have some exciting ideas for a few future projects, my ability to get funding or a job in Canada seem limited under the current government administration and the changes in budget and legislation priorities. Although I have obviously been following the cuts and changes to anything having to do with environmental, social, or basic science research, it was wonderful to see it put together in a presentation and panel discussion featuring Evidence for Democracy and the author of The War on Science: Muzzled Scientists and Wilful Blindness in Stephen Harper’s Canada. It was good to hear and I still have hope that I will be able to contribute to science in Canada to move toward sustainable resource use and cities (and I think that working with municipal governments is one way I can do that with my research in the more immediate future!).

In the midst of explaining the ins and out of P cycling as part of the performance at La Nuit Blanche. Photo credit: Alexis Aubin

In the midst of explaining the ins and out of P cycling as part of the performance at La Nuit Blanche. Photo credit: Alexis Aubin

On a side note, the video of the dance performance at La Nuit Blanche isvdone! Although I love that it was bilingual for the Montreal context, the video (as is anyways) isn’t as useful to bringing the project outside of the city. Still, it does feel good to have the project documented. And although I didn’t get a spot for the 3 minutes to change the world contest, I have decided not to let that discourage me from trying to share this project again (I have now applied to a small conference that I hope might be interested in the piece but also the process of creation).

One of the apple treats we shared at the performance. I think a pi pie would have also been a great addition! Photo credit: Alexis Aubin

One of the apple treats we shared at the performance. I think a pi pie would have also been a great addition! Photo credit: Alexis Aubin

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