Check Out Iowa State University’s Interactive Game for Watershed Ecosystem Education

In *All, Agricultural Systems, Technology by Ag is America

Iowa State University has recently updated their resource for students learning about the balance between agricultural production and environmental impacts. People in Ecosystems Watershed Integration (PEWI) is an online, educational game that serves as a watershed-scale simulator that students and instructions can use to better understand land use concepts.

“With this new version, we’re offering students a more holistic learning environment, and teachers have a lot more options to tailor PEWI to meet their specific instructional goals,” said Lisa-Schulte-Moore, professor of natural resource ecology and management who leads the team that developed PEWI.

Within the game, players can access a watershed of about 6,000 acres and choose from 15 land-use types, including growing corn or soybeans, or installing wetlands, which they apply in 10 acres increments.

“Users can design watershed for whatever goals they have,” Valek said. “When they’re done, they hit results and we give them measurements for each ecosystem service, such as soil erosion rates; water quality indicators for streams; game wildlife and biodiversity; carbon sequestered for the year; and yields in each land-use category.”

Click here to access the game for free and read more about the game’s integration into Iowa State’s educational efforts.

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