Suzuette Soomai and François Bregha, two research students in the EIUI research team, were named winners of awards for papers presented at the recent 2013 Sustainable Oceans Conference. Interdisciplinary PhD student, Suzuette Soomai, won the Building Bridges award for her paper on “Understanding the Science-Policy Interface: Measuring Use and Influence of Information in Policy-Making,” and Master of Environmental Studies student, François Bregha, was the second prize recipient for his paper on “Problems of Scale.”
Suzuette Soomai described recent research to determine awareness, use, and influence of scientific information in environmental policy-making. A suite of methods were applied in case studies of marine environmental science reports published by governmental organizations. The studies bridged the work and interests of governments, non-governmental organizations, and industry to advance understanding of the use of environmental information and to raise the visibility of scientific information in sustainable ocean management.
François Bregha addressed questions of scale concerning the global problem of ocean acidification. The seriousness of the problem is typically reported in global-level models. But, translating global predictions to the regional or local levels at which most managers and stakeholders operate is not a trivial exercise. As Mr. Bregha emphasized, understanding the challenges of converting information from global to local scales is needed since solutions to the problem will only be implemented when the significance of ocean acidification is recognized at the level of coastal communities or regions.
The 2013 Sustainable Oceans Conference which was organized by students in the Master of Marine Management program, focused on “Building Bridges in Marine Management.” A partnership of the Marine Affairs Program at Dalhousie University and WWF Canada with support from the Sobey Fund for Oceans, the conference aimed to build bridges by bringing representatives from various stakeholder groups together so that collaboration could lead to a stronger voice in identifying challenges currently undermining sustainable ocean management and to determine possible solutions.