New Paper: Documenting Rover Science

In this latest paper, my colleagues and I outlined some challenges for mission documentation through our experiences on the 2016 CanMars analogue mission.

Documentation is the process by which you record major events and decision making in a mission. This is usually done so that future mission designers can learn from past missions. Although, most documentation actually gets used be people coming in to mission control after a shift or day off (since its a record of what happened while they were gone).

Analogue missions are when researchers practice operating rovers by using Earth instead of Mars or the Moon. It’s obviously a lot easier, safer, and cheaper, and is perfect for the real thing.A lot of graduates of analogue missions go on to work with rovers in space exploration.

In our case, we were working with a rover operating in the desert near Hanksville Utah, while our mission control was in London, Ontario.

MESR

Our little rover was called MESR (pronounced mee-zer) (Image: CSA, 2016)

Our paper is published in the September 2019 issue of Planetary and Space Science and can be found here.

In short we found a few things:

  • Up-front decisions have to be made about how detailed the in-room discussion will be recorded (there are trade-offs either way).
  • It’s practically impossible to capture all decision making on a mission (the ideal objective of documentation). All of the small conversations that go into a decisions occur in many undocumented places. The best thing to do is to make sure overall deciding factors are stated clearly in open deliberation and for recording.
  • Documentarians don’t have to be experts, in fact there may be value in non-experts recording the decision making process (along with experts). A mix may be best.
  • We suggest room design is not irrelevant to mission success, as mundane as it sounds. Room layout can affect documentation, at least in our case. A mission might as well consider this in mission control design.

Enjoy!

Feature image (CSA, 2016).

New Paper: Climate Change Adaptation and Governance

How are governments in Canada preparing for the ongoing and expected impacts of climate change?

My new paper with Dan Henstra explores how we are governing ourselves in the face of climate change and the myriad of options for moving forward with policy.

Should we regulate, tax, or persuade ourselves towards climate preparedness?

Due to my commitment to ethical and accessible research, the full article is available for free from the Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning.

As academia. very slowly. moves away from a narrow focus on impact factors and for-profit journals, hopefully more researchers will provide their work to open access journals.

Also: What is Climate Change Adaptation?

Enjoy.

 

New Popular Article Up at Medium: What is Climate Change Adaptation?

As I hit the home stretch of thesis writing I will be writing popular versions of much of the same stuff I am writing up for my PhD. The plan is a series of articles on “what is climate change adaptation?”

I hope these articles will be useful for other academics just getting into adaptation, or government and company staff asked to look into the topic but not sure where to start.

The first article introduces what climate change adaptation is, and a generic 5 step process in which it takes place. Clink on the image below to go to the article.

What is climate change adaptation article

New Article: Walker et al. Sustainable Development and Environmental Injustice in Rural Ontario

Colleagues and I have just published a new article in the Journal of Rural and Community Development, an open access journal out of Brandon University in my old stomping grounds Manitoba.

Since it it is open access (yay!) any one is free to download and read it here.

Below is the abstract. Click the image to go directly to the articles .pdf

Walker et al. article

In the article we outline cases of rural SW Ontario communities feeling burdened by urban env policies. This view of env injustice may help explain part of the urban/rural split we typically seen in Canadian elections.

 

Second Climate Change Adaptation and Governance Report Released

A report summarizing a workshop I held with colleagues from Simon Fraser University in Vancouver is now online.

Like my other work, the workshop engaged the broad question of “who should do how with which instruments for climate change adaptation”. Unique from my other work however, this meeting focused on the British Columbia context.

The report is available on the Adaptation to Climate Change Team (ACT) website.

A big thank you ro Deb Harford, Willem Peters, Jack Satzewich, and my supervisor Gordon McBean for all their hard work with the workshop and the report.

Cover image courtesy of V.Birkus on pixabay.com

Studying climate change, space exploration, and sometimes both.