1. According to Meadows, elements, interconnections and a function or purpose are necessary components in systems. Describe the elements, connections and/or functions or purpose in the Chesapeake Bay watershed system. Diagram the system including these elements.

Elements:

– land developer (buys, develops, and sells land, either regularly or sustainably)

– waterman (fishes)

– animal farmer (raises animals for food and sale)

– crop farmer (grows crops for food and sale)

– regulator (provides regulations and incentives in the system to help balance or improve the economy and health of the bay)

– animals

– plants

– water

– land

Interconnections:

– If the watermen continuously overfish, the fish population will decrease, which will see the health of other bay animals decrease, which will hurt plant life and the sale of fish.  If the regulator put a limit on fishing or provided an incentive to not fish as much, overfishing would decrease or be eliminated and the health of the bay overall would improve.

– Land developed sustainably helps the health of the land surrounding the bay, decreasing harmful runoff and providing a higher total profit for land developers.

– Overall, as the health of the bay animals and fish increases, the watermen and animal farmers will increase profits, bay water quality will increase, there will be more incentives to keep the bay at its current health level, and the bay will stay cleaner and healthier.

2. Describe how your diagram and understanding have changed since your first diagram of the Chesapeake Bay watershed system.

Since my first understanding of the Chesapeake Bay watershed system I have learned more about the details of the watershed system and the roles that each element plays in the overall system.  I especially learned more about the role of the land developer in the overall system because I was assigned that role in the bay game.  My initial diagram and understanding of the system and the bay game were fairly on target, but after learning more about the Chesapeake Bay and participating in the bay game I know more about the underlying systems involved and how they can affect each other.

3. How do you think delay affects the efforts to improve the health of the Bay?

In the effort to improve the health of the bay, delay has a huge effect in the overall system.  Delay in the Chesapeake Bay watershed system can be found in several places:

– Time between buying, developing, and selling land (land developer)

– Time between setting policies and incentives and those policies or incentives actually starting to work

– Time between the slowing of fishing practices and the fish population regaining numbers

– In general, delay plays a large factor in the watershed system because it occurs in so many places and because these delays are all interconnected and can start to negatively affect the bay if they are not recognized and taken into account when thinking in systems.

4. What was your perceived understanding of the goal/s of the game? Did you think the overall goal/s “fit” with your goals as a stakeholder and citizen? Describe how your understanding of the goal/s affected your actions within the game?

I perceived the goals of the game to be to further our understanding of the interconnected systems at play in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, recognize the real-world applications of the things we have learned in class, and to physically demonstrate how these systems work and how the actions of each individual are all taken into the overall system.  In the game itself, I understood the goal as keeping the bay healthy while simultaneously maintaining a high quality of life and a balanced economy.  While playing the game as a land developer, I tried to sustainably develop my land to help the environment while all the time looking out for my own self-interest and trying to make a profit.  Sometimes it was not possible to do both.

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