Global Day 2023: Display Contest

The Global Day 2023 Display Contest accepted visual representations of an international project affiliated with UW-Madison that contributes to solving a grand challenge. For the purposes of this event, global grand challenges were based on the seventeen United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Visual representations ranged from videos, storybooks, webpages, and works of art. Below are the virtual submissions.

Name: Meg Baker

Collaborators: Calderón, Claudia I.

Display Title: The Importance of Medicinal Plants in Chiquimula, Guatemala (Video 1) and Soil Conservation Practices in Chiquimula, Guatemala (Video 2)

Description: During the summer of 2023 in the Ch’orti’ region of Chiquimula, Guatemala, Agroecology master’s student Meg Baker and Horticulture Teaching Faculty II, Dr. Claudia I. Calderón, collaborated with a Guatemalan artist and videographer, Claudio Vásquez Bianchi, to create two videos highlighting themes identified as important by community members: the cultural significance of medicinal plants and soil conservation. Through interviews with community members, Encarnación Gutiérrez Esquivel, Vicenta Romero de García, and José María Gutiérrez, their aim is to demonstrate the breadth of knowledge in the region on these topics and provide others in Latin America, the U.S. and elsewhere an idea of the challenges and opportunities of agroecological practices in the region.

Name: Claudia Irene Calderón

Collaborators: Khokhar, Hassan; Terterman, Katerina; Mae, Leslie; Peskar, Tressa; Winkler, Ryan; Zaman, Isaac; Mechelke, Emma; Webber, Sophia; Lampe, Lindsey; Dable, Jessica; Harrod, Lauren; Perry, Molly; Mueller, Sybil; Faber, Tabitha

Display Title: Finding our voice through storytelling

Description: The University of Wisconsin – UW – Tropical Horticulture field experience took a different approach the winter intersession if 2022 in light of ongoing Covid-19 pandemic complications. Our cohort, comprised of fourteen UW undergraduate students, tuned into the tropics from afar. Though we may not have suntans and souvenirs to prove our experience, we do have newfound knowledge, perspectives, and friendships to show for all we’ve gained on this virtually immersive trip. From the Irazú Volcano outside of San José to the lush rainforests home to the Boruca indigenous people of Costa Rica, our senses were certainly alive with the sights and sounds of Central America. Each day we were joined by speakers of different backgrounds and disciplines to explore their topics of study and/or places of work. With such a diversity of interactions during our synchronous hours, we were able to harness these presentations and apply our transdisciplinary skills in collaborative discussions outside of class. Tasty little bits of the tropics were shipped to Wisconsin to allow interactive activities in class. Cacao (cacao nibs, chocolate liquor, and chocolate bars), specialty coffee, and masa/empanada cooking kits were all provided to create an organoleptic experience as means of experiential learning, which left us with lingering cravings for these culinary delights. We share our virtual journey through the stories that remained with each of us in each of the “virtual visits” . Join our 2022 cohort through this immersive story map and discover the economic, political, environmental, and social qualities unique to tropical horticulture systems!

Name: Emma Roberts

Display Title: UW Banking Animal Biodiversity in Costa Rica

Description: This video showcases the UW Banking Animal Biodiversity in Costa Rica Spring Break Study Abroad Program. In March 2023, 17 UW-Madison undergraduates, graduate student Ryan Trevena, and professor of Genetics and Medical Genetics Dr. Francisco Pelegri, set off to learn about the sustainability of Costa Rica and ways conservation integrates within genetics. The group explored three vastly different climatic regions of the country: the dry forest, cloud forest, and rainforest; each abundant with animals, plants, and culture.  
Across all three regions, a big takeaway for students was Costa Rica’s emphasis on integrating community within sustainability. Sustainability is often thought of as environmental conservation. However, for long term, successful sustainability, economic and social needs of a community must be considered. The idea is collaboration followed by conservation, rather than forcing practices onto communities they do not properly serve.  
Students also got to learn about Dr. Pelegri’s banking animal biodiversity through genetic sampling project. Just like how seed banks exist in case of agricultural catastrophe, Pelegri and other scientists are preserving the genetics of animals, in case of extinction events. With enough samples, animals can be cloned and brought back. However, one cannot barge into the forest and grab samples, so innovation has arisen to sample non-invasively. Pelegri uses mosquito traps, which can be collected and analyzed not for their DNA, but for the DNA of other organism’s blood they have collected.  
Overall this montage video provides a visual representation of the program featuring the biodiversity, landscapes, and culture of Costa Rica.