Assignment 3

Assignment 3: Bay Game Follow up Questions

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.

The purpose of the Chesapeake Bay watershed system is different depending on the type of person that is interacting with it. The purpose normally is either the health of the bay or personal gain, or somewhere on the spectrum in between the two. These purposes are reached through the connections between all the elements in the system. The many different people involved in the system; including fishermen, farmers, land developers, regulators, and tourists, all affect the bay either by producing runoff and pollution or doing things to improve the health of the bay. The people and the affects they have are controlled by things such as laws, regulations, incentives, the money they make, as well as their own decision. All these things then affect the health of the bay as well as the personal gain of all the people involved in the system.

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

The main reason that my diagram has changed is that I now have a better understanding of who is involved in the system. I considered how regulations, laws, and incentives play a part in the system which is something that I previously had not thought about. I also included how personal gain plays a part in the system as people are trying to make money off the bay which may not always lead to actions that are beneficial to the health of the bay.

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

The delay seems to have negative effect on efforts to improve the health of the Bay as people have to wait to see the results of their actions. In a world where people have become accustomed to instant gratification and instant results the delay in the system may act as a detriment to the health of the Bay. People involved in the system will make a decision based on a certain goal they have in mind, such as helping the Bay, but when they do not see the results they are aiming for fast enough they may take a different course of action. However, it may be that the reaction they are looking for just has not had enough time to manifest itself and this delay has caused them to change their actions, although their previous action may have been beneficial to the Bay. The delay may also cause regulators to create regulations and incentives that may no longer be advantageous to the system because the delay has not yet made the results of pervious actions apparent.

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?

My perceived goal of the game was to understand how the people involved in the Chesapeake Bay watershed system are connected and how they can work together to increase the health of the Bay. My goals as a stakeholder and citizen in the game did fit in with the overall goals of the game as I was attempting to improve the health of the bay with my choices as a land developer. However, this may not always be the case as people who are only interested in their own personal gain play the game without any regard for the health of the bay which does not work towards the goal of the game. My understanding of the game caused me to make decisions with my main focus on the health of the bay so I was always trying to develop sustainably even though it was more expense.

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