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Thesis Defence: Understanding Wine Industry Sustainability and Resiliency as Concepts and Practices in the Okanagan, Thompson, and Similkameen Valleys
November 9 at 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Morgan King, supervised by Dr. Donna Senese, will defend their dissertation titled “Understanding Wine Industry Sustainability and Resiliency as Concepts and Practices in the Okanagan, Thompson, and Similkameen Valleys” in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies – Sustainability Theme.
An abstract for Morgan King’s thesis is included below.
Defences are open to all members of the campus community as well as the general public. Registration is not required for in person defences.
Wine production is a growing industry that has become significant environmentally, economically, and culturally in the Okanagan, Thompson, and Similkameen Valleys. Wine production is becoming increasingly vulnerable to climate change due to its close ties to the physical landscapes, as evidenced by the concept of terroir. Due to this vulnerability, resiliency as a concept and a practice has become necessary for creating a wine industry that is sustainable and resilient in the face of the effects of climate change. This study aims to understand the decision-making process regarding sustainability, resilience, and adaptative strategies in vineyards and wineries and to assess a hard adaptative tool, cover crops and a soft adaptative tool, eco-certification.
This research was collaborative in the survey design with the British Columbia Wine Grape Council, Sustainable Winegrowing British Columbia, and British Columbia Grape Growers Association. These community associations support the British Columbia wine industry. This collaboration enabled the research to be relevant to the local wine industry and learn the current adaptative strategies to combat climate change. The multi-phase mixed methods case study was successful in learning about the current impacts of climate change, how resiliency and sustainability are thought of and practiced, and the barriers to adaptative strategies.
Wine decision makers from the Okanagan, Thompson, and Similkameen Valleys exhibited holistic thinking that considered many systems and input levels when making adaptation decisions. Key findings from this research include how sustainability and resiliency are conceptualized separately from how they are practiced, what a sustainable and resilient mindset is, the barriers to adaptation as cost and knowledge transferal, and the importance of viable social networks for adaptations. The results of this research can be used to improve research into sustainability in the wine industry and to increase the sustainability and resiliency of the region by lowering barriers to adaptation to climatic conditions.