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Urban Plant Ecology and Botany
Project Summary :
- There is ecological diversity within Chicago and the Sao Vicenete region of Sao Paulo state, which stems from the region's climate, evolutionary history, competitive interactions (plant-plant;plant-animal), and mutualistic interactions (i.e. pollination and fruit dispersal), among other factors. Additionally, ecological landscapes (which include humans) are partially the result of human-landscape interactions shaped by public policies, cultural views on nature, and the ways of life of each region's human populations.
This GLE assignment was an opportunity to provide students fro Sao Paulo State University (UNESP) - Costal Campus and DePaul University - College of Science and Health a virtual exchange experience focused on plan ecology, morphology and classification. Groups of students exchanged information about the landscape from their respective cities, and the outcome of this GLE course was to create a bilingual calendar with two selected photos(one from Brazil and other from US) for each month. Each photo was accompanies by a text description of the photo's ecological and botanical relevance.
Using calendar was an excellent opportunity as it facilitates conversation on topics that will be of cultural interest from the students. For example, Thanksgiving (Dia de acados gracas) has a name in Portuguese, but it is not widely commemorated as it is a U.S. - specific holiday. Halloween is another holiday that is widely celebrated in the U.S., but not globally. Brazil is known for its carnival festivities, characterized by samba dancing and elaborate costumes, but carnival celebrations vary regionally with Brazil.
The use of ecological landscapes also provide an opening to talk about public policies surrounding environmental conversation in each region(and at the federal level in each country), and the drivers of changing land use in both countries.
Project Length :
- Respect for and learning from the perspectives of others different from themselves.
- Knowledge of global interconnectedness and interdependencies.
- Knowledge to become a steward of global resources for a sustainable future.
Reflection Component :
- The final part of the calendar assignment where students decribed a species in the photo also included a feedback component where students reflected on the experience and gave feedback for future iterations for GLE Projects