The UVA Bay Game

The UVA Bay Game

The University of Virginia (UVA) Bay Game is a large-scale participatory simulation based on the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The game allows players to take the roles of stakeholders, such as farmers, developer, watermen, and local policymakers, make decisions about their livelihoods or regulatory authority; and see the impacts of their decisions on their own personal finances, the regional economy, and watershed health. It is an adaptable educational and learning tool for raising awareness about watershed stewardship anywhere in the world; a tool for exploring and testing policy choices; and a tool for evaluating new products and services.

The UVA Bay Game provides players with a new sense of individual and collective agency, and game play records suggest new directions for research in behavior change and policy development. The UVA Bay Game also has a global reach, through development of simulations for other watersheds, such as the Murray-Darling Basin in Australia.

Project Details

  • PRINCIPAL SCIENTIST: Jeffrey Plank, Associate Vice President for Research
  • SCIENTIST AFFILIATION: University of Virginia
  • DATES: Ongoing
  • PROJECT TYPE: Data Processing
  • COST: Free
  • GRADE LEVEL: All Ages

    For further information, contact: Jeffrey Plank, Associate Vice President for Research,

See more projects in FreeData ProcessingAll Ages.

What Is Citizen Science?

Research often involves teams of scientists collaborating across continents. Now, using the power of the Internet, non-specialists are participating, too. Citizen Science falls into many categories. A pioneering project was SETI@Home, which has harnessed the idle computing time of millions of participants in the search for extraterrestrial life. Citizen scientists also act as volunteer classifiers of heavenly objects, such as in Galaxy Zoo. They make observations of the natural world, as in The Great Sunflower Project. And they even solve puzzles to design proteins, such as FoldIt. We'll add projects regularly—and please tell us about others you like as well.

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