After working on The Plutonium Project in 2023, I was asked to join a new research project, called Contesting Energy Discourses through Action Research. I’ve been working on this project since September 2023 part-time, and have just recently accepted a full-time position as a Research Assistant for the summer of 2024.

A little on the project…

The CEDAR Project is a project funded by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) focused on looking at the energy transition in New Brunswick. It will run for at least five years and will cover four studies: Media Analysis, Key Actor Analysis, Participatory Action Research, & Strategies for More Democratic Media. It is based at St. Thomas University, Université de Moncton, and the University of British Columbia. If you’d like to learn more about the goals of the CEDAR Project, check out the project website here.

My contributions to this project

Under the supervision of Dr. Janice Harvey, co-investigator and Dr. Susan O’Donnell, primary investigator, I have been working on Study 1:Media Analysis. I, along with another research assistant have been coding dominant media types, voices, and energy technologies discussed in a random sample of NB Telegraph-Journal newspaper articles from January 2002-2023 (The years included in the sample are 2002, 2005, 2008, 2011, 2014, 2017, 2020, 2023). We are coding these articles to see who is speaking the most in the media and what ideas they are bringing to the table.

Under the supervision of Dr. O’Donnell, I have been working on coding (using the same legend) articles pertaining to Nuclear from 2011, 2014, 2017, 2020, & 2023 in the NB Telegraph-Journal, the NB Media Co-op, and the Acadie Nouvelle. The first paper is a strong corporate media voice, the second is a dominant activist & academic voice, and the Acadie Nouvelle is a French newspaper that was never owned by Irving (unlike many of New Brunswick’s media), which makes it interesting for our study. So far, my work has been lots and lots of reading and coding. However, I am excited to see where this research will go.

Other contributions include my participation in the CEDAR events in October of 2023. I designed and distributed advertisement posters for the events and joined the final talk at the end of the event. This was an amazing opportunity to meet all those who are part of the CEDAR team but are not located in New Brunswick. I also learned a lot about other environmental initiatives that are working with or affiliated with CEDAR. In the groups that came to listen to presentations, I also recognized other Professors, ENGO reps, and community activists, whose faces and names I may have run into through my work for school, research for this project, or my other jobs. It really is a tightly-knit community!

I was also in attendance at the Assembly of First Nations’ A Day of Dialogue on the Transportation and Storage of Used Nuclear Fuel in April of 2024. This was an interesting event that allowed me to hear from New Brunswick First Nation community representatives and Chiefs, meet NB Power employees, and hear from the Nuclear Waste Management Organization.

Fortunately, my supervisors have also allowed me to write my own articles as a part of my work for the project, I have been writing in the NB Media Co-op and the NB Telegraph-Journal on energy technologies, climate change, and the energy transition. If you’d like to check them out, hop over to my publications page. I have also done some presentations with my coworker, Erin, and am a co-author for two presentations that are to be given at Congress in Montréal in the summer of 2024.

Overall, my time working on the CEDAR Project has been extremely rewarding. I’ve met new people, learned SO much about media and New Brunswick’s history (through reading all those articles!), and have been allowed the opportunity to write and have my voice be heard outside of the classroom. I am so fortunate and grateful for this experience and hope to continue work like this in the future.