Strategize Environmental Issues: The UVA Bay Game

Date & Time

August 22, 2018 @ 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Register Now ($125)


The Bay Game is a large-scale participatory simulation based on the Chesapeake Bay watershed. This hands-on simulation allows players to assume the roles of stakeholders, such as farmers, developers, watermen, and local policymakers, to name a few. In these roles, you will make decisions about your community’s livelihood or regulatory authority, and will see the ripple effect of your decisions on your personal finances, the regional economy, and watershed health.  This simulation exercise brings together people with opposing views of and interests in the economy and environmental sustainability.

The Bay Game’s founders and other faculty will be on hand to share the history of this project, lead group discussions and guide us throughout the day. Come take part in this innovative learning experience!

No previous computer game experience is necessary. Ages 14 and older are welcome for this One-Day UVA program – it is a great opportunity for various generations to learn together and have a great time.

This program takes place at the lovely Virginia Commonwealth University Rice Rivers Center. It is located on 494 acres along the historic James River, midway between Richmond and Williamsburg, Virginia, in the heart of diverse aquatic and terrestrial habitats.


Gerry Learmonth

Research Professor of Policy Informatics at the University of Virginia at the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy

Gerard P. Learmonth Sr. is Research Professor of Policy Informatics at the University of Virginia at the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy. He holds a secondary appointment with the Department of Public Health Sciences in the School of Medicine. He also holds a courtesy appointment with the Department of Systems and Information Engineering in the School of Engineering and Applied Science.

Learmonth holds a B.S. and M.B.A. from New York University, an M.S. in Operations Research from the Naval Postgraduate School, and the Ph.D. in Statistics and Management Science from the University of Michigan. He has held academic appointments at Dartmouth College, Boston College, and George Washington University. He has been at UVA since 1999.

He is the principal architect of the UVA Bay Game and its successor – Global Water Games. He is currently leading the development of a participatory simulation game for the Louisiana Gulf Coast.

He designed and built the Global Sustainable Supply Chain Game for LAUNCH, a consortium of U.S. State Department, USAID, NASA, and Nike. He is designing a simulation game to explore policy issues within the U.S. healthcare system.

David Smith

Professor and Associate Chair, Department of Environmental Sciences, Arts & Sciences

Areas of interest include the physiology and ecology of planktonic communities, including predator-prey relationships, trophic interactions at intermediate levels within the food chain, planktonic larval recruitment processes, and the dynamics of gelatinous macrozooplankton.

Recent activity has also focused on the oxygen/nutrient dynamics within Chesapeake Bay, nekton dynamics in tidal freshwater and barrier island environments, as well as innovative ways to transfer scientific information to policy and decision makers.

About the Bay Game

The 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 policy-makers, 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 has been hailed by federal and state agency, NGO, and corporate and education leaders as “the first of its kind.”

“Unique in its scale, participation, and expertise. Never before have we seen a university-wide, university-supported collaboration of this scale. . . . The UVA Bay Game establishes the intellectual infrastructure that pushes collaboration and understanding between fields forward.” Arizona State University Center for Policy Informatics.

“The UVA Bay Game is simply the best watershed management tool that exists. . . . It is adaptive learning that ultimately allows students to succeed at the game and that will ultimately allow resource managers to succeed in restoring the Bay.” Howard Ernst, professor of political science, US Naval Academy and author of three notable books on the challenges of protecting the Chesapeake Bay.

The UVA Bay Game now serves as a platform for education, research, and policy applications that bridge the virtual and real worlds for watershed conservation.

UVA Bay Game development is sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Research, in partnership with Azure Worldwide, a strategic environmental design, development, and marketing company co-founded by environmentalist and social entrepreneur Philippe Cousteau and UVA environmental sciences alumnus, Andrew Snowhite.

Visit the UVA Bay Game website.

Event Details

Parking is free and available on site, and the venue is fully accessible.

Morning coffee and lunch will be provided.

Laptops will be used to play the game.

If you prefer to bring your own laptop, please check the box on the registration form. Personal laptops simply need a web browser; no specific software is required.

Basic laptops will be provided for those who prefer to borrow.

Space is limited to 37 people.

Cancellation and Refund Policy

Cancellation Policy

Participants may cancel their registration for this One-Day UVA program by emailing Cecelia Magargee at   Cecelia will send an email notification confirming your cancellation.

Refund Policy

If Lifetime Learning (via Cecelia) receives a cancellation email before midnight on July 9, 2018, you will receive a refund of 50% of your registration fee.

If Lifetime Learning (via Cecelia) receives a cancellation email after midnight on July 9, 2018, no refund will be issued.