Profile: Tiffanie Rainville
Climate change is increasing the vulnerability of Ecuador’s coastal ecosystems and threatening local livelihoods. Tiffanie’s research focussed on traditional ecological knowledge and perceptions of mangrove ecosystems, the threat of climate change, and historical environmental change. A bottom-up case study approach was used in two Ecuadorian coastal communities, with community members’ deep knowledge base informing the analysis of resources and vulnerabilities. Tiffanie’s research supported by the Robin Rigby Trust built on her previous work in Ecuador when she spent five months with an environmental NGO, Fundacion Rescate de los Bosques Tropicales.
Tiffanie’s research formed the basis for her Master of Environmental Studies degree from Dalhousie. Her 2010 thesis was titled “Climate Change in Ecuador’s Coastal Communities and Mangrove Ecosystems: Local Knowledge, Perceptions, and Priorities.” Her partner organization was the Coordinadora Nacional para la Defensa del Ecosistema Maglar (C-CONDEM).
“My field research season in Ecuador was a truly unforgettable experience. The opportunity to work in two different coastal communities was so special and caused immense personal and professional growth. I was able to further improve my Spanish, my interviewing skills, my confidence in conducting research, my critical thinking skills, and am now more capable of putting theoretical knowledge into practice. I was also blessed by the friendship of many amazing Ecuadorian people.
Since 2011, Tiffanie has been working on an IDRC project in the Bolivian Amazon with the Canadian NGO World Fisheries Trust (WFT) in their collaboration with two Bolivian NGOs FaunAgua and Agua Sustentable. Tiffanie’s work is focused on small-scale fisheries and food security.