The RFRC's research is disseminated in the form of peer-reviewed journal articles and books, conference and keynote presentations, reports, fact sheets, and media interviews. Some of the highlights are below.

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Farmers’ Markets, Community Supported Agriculture & The Local Food System in Nova Scotia: Consumer Survey Report

This report presents results of an online survey of farmers’ market and CSA consumers. Conducted in spring 2020, the survey is one component of a larger study investigating the global footprint of the local food system in Nova Scotia. The objective of the survey was to gather data on farmers’ market and CSA consumers’ perceptions of local food, their motivations for buying local, their knowledge of food production, and where farmers’ markets and CSA participation fit into the rest of their household’s provisioning.


Survey Report: Seeing a Future in it

This summary report presents high-level findings from our 2019 survey of Atlantic Canadians. The survey, part of a larger SSHRC Insight-funded project called 'Seeing a Future in it: Generations and Work in Atlantic Canada', examined Atlantic Canadians views toward community, work and economy as well as their experiences as workers and residents of urban, rural and suburban Atlantic Canadian communities.



Karen Foster on why women's careers have suffered more than men's during the pandemic

RFRC director Karen Foster is interviewed to discuss the ways in which women's careers have been negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Women got the worst of both worlds here — they were more likely to be in sectors that shut down, and also more likely to be working the jobs that got busier, more dangerous and more stressful as a result of COVID."

Data Briefs

New primer on COVID-19's impact on rural communities

The Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation (CRRF) is publishing a series of short policy primers on COVID-19's impact on rural communities. Dr. Foster is the author of the latest, titled Exports, Imports, and Local Economic Resilience. View the primer here.

Data Briefs

COVID-19 Impact on Rural and Small-Town Employment in Canada

RFRC Research Associate Ray Bollman has been tracking the impact of COVID-19 on rural and small town employment in Canada. His detailed analyses are available on the Rural Ontario Institute's website here. RFRC Research Associate Hannah Main summarized some of the findings in the PDF below.


The Right to be Rural

The Right to be Rural began as a public lecture (video below), was published as an essay in The Dalhousie Review, inspired several sessions at academic conferences, and is now the impetus for an edited volume (Jennifer Jarman and Karen Foster, eds.) under review with University of Alberta Press. 

Read the essay here (library account required), or watch the video below, and watch this space for updates about the book.


RFRC survey to track perceptions of environmental change in Atlantic Canada

Effective and sustainable environmental policy and advocacy is based on knowing what people think, and understanding how they perceive social and environmental issues. This study, funded by the Ocean Frontier Institute and as part of the larger Future Ocean Coastal Infrastructure (FOCI) project, examines the multiple, and potentially divergent, social perceptions of climate change among the general public, while also engaging experts, media, and policy network actors to build social capacity and knowledge mobilization in Atlantic Canada.


EU-funded project assesses the global footprint of Nova Scotia's local food movement

Local food movements argue that a reduction of food-miles has positive social, environmental and economic impacts. A full account of the costs of food production, however, needs to go beyond the path from food to plate and consider the wider set of translocal social and economic relations involved in local food production. Using a multi-method, ethnographic approach, this project examines the costs of local food production with special attention on the international labour migration that sustains Nova Scotia’s agricultural sector.

The study entails:


RFRC research in the news

Dr. Foster's research on work and productivity inspired two non-academic publications in early June, both focused on the impacts of the COVID19 pandemic on working conditions and norms in Canadian workplaces. Read them here:

"The Day is Dawning on a Four Day Workweek," in The Conversation.


Seminar on Youth Outmigration

Official launch of the Knowledge Synthesis Report, Finding a Place in the World: Understanding Youth Outmigration from Shrinking Communities. With special guest, Ray Bollman (retired, Statistics Canada), on Rural Youth Out-migration: A look at some numbers.

Data Briefs

Personal debt in Atlantic Canada

Like most other parts of the world, Atlantic Canada is characterized by social inequality. There is considerable academic and public discourse about economic insecurity, but it focuses on income and expenditures, devoting comparatively less attention to how personal debt affects social inequality and the well-being of people and households in the region.


Global News interviews Dr. Foster on the Future of Rural Atlantic Canada

On July 9th, 2018, Dr. Foster sat down with Global News Halifax for an interview about her SSHRC-funded research on generations and work in Atlantic Canada.