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Aiming for a good life – thoughts about Paris, good food and wine

Read an interview with Kimberly Nicholas, BECC researcher, dealing with food, ecosystems and land-use. Kimberly talks about Paris and COP21, taking personal responsability and social media.
Kimberly Nicholas. Photo: LUM, Gunnar Menander
Kimberly Nicholas. Photo: LUM, Gunnar Menander

After five years in Lund, Kimberly Nicholas has grown roots here. She comes from a family of turkey ranchers and wine-growers in California, and food has been with her for her whole life. Her research at LUCSUS, Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies, deals with food, ecosystems and land-use. Kimberly is trying to understand how farming can be more sustainable, especially in a changing climate. She was in Paris during the climate summit, a meeting that gave hope for the future, but also reflections – for the direction of research and how our everyday choices are affected.

– What nature gives us is what makes life worth living – including food and wine. My inspiration is nature, and people and their ingenuity. The aim for my work is a healthy planet, and we could definitely do much better!

Paris brought the world together

Together with seven other researchers from Lund University, Kimberly Nicholas attended the 2015 United Nations Paris Climate Conference, COP21.

– Paris felt like a big step forward, and it was very exciting being there. I was lucky to be there at this watershed moment. It was really amazing to see the whole world there – representatives from 195 countries. You see how diverse the world is.

Kimberly compared the climate conference to a county fair. Every country had their own booth at the conference area, showing off the personality of their country. The impression from physically seeing representatives from the whole world at Paris was powerful, says Kimberly.

– Paris was one of these moments bringing the whole world together. It was really inspiring to follow the process that ended in the final climate deal. It gave me the feeling that change is possible.

The representatives from Lund University attended as part of one of nine observer groups at COP21, called RINGO (Research and Independent Non-Governmental Organisations). During the COP meetings, the observer groups organized discussions about the developments of the negotiations.

 – The non-governmental organizations (NGO´s), including the environmental and gender NGOs, are like the moral compass of the negotiations, says Kimberly. It was impressive to see the results arising from years and years of mobilization.

Read the full article on the Lund University Sustainability Forum (and Swedish version in the Lund University Magazine). Text: Nina Nordh

About Kimberly Nicholas

Kimberly Nicholas is a researcher at LUCSUS, Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies. Her work deals with food, ecosystems and land-use.

She is very active on both Twitter and her own website. Don't miss Kimberly's Twitter crash course for researchers!

A crash course in Twitter for researchers from Kimberly Nicholas:

Twitter
  • Set up a Twitter account. It takes just 5 minutes! Upload a picture and write a short profile text highlighting your interests. Use a short handle for your username – you don´t want it to take up too much room in your tweets. A tweet may be maximum 140 characters.
  • Look for interesting people to follow in your field. Among for example the ten biggest names in your field, you are quite certain to find a few that are active on Twitter. Also look at who these people follow.
  • Use Twitter at conferences. It makes it possible to “be” at many sessions at the same time, and meet new people in your field. TweetDeck is a tool you can use to make a dashboard of several Twitter-columns on your computer where you follow conference hashtags. These are labels that can help others who are searching for similar tweets or making comments during an event. For example, search #CFCC15 on Twitter to see Tweets from the Our Common Future under Climate Change scientific conference in July 2015.
  • If you want to organize Tweets or other social media posts, you can use Storify to collect and order posts as you like. You can see my Storify of my time at the Paris climate conference: https://storify.com/KA_Nicholas/paris-climate-summit-2015-cop21/preview
  • Use pictures or film in your tweets from time to time to make your Twitter account more attractive to follow.
  • A good way to get started on Twitter is to read what others post – there’s no obligation to post yourself before you’re ready. The next step can be to retweet interesting tweets from others to share news and opportunities with your network. Be generous with tips about others’ work –  a good rule of thumb is that less than 10% of your posts should be promoting your own work.

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