Brownfield Action

Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning

Introduction

The Brownfield Action Simulation

Brownfield Action (BA) is a web-based environmental science simulation developed by the Center for New Media Teaching and Learning at Columbia University and Dr. Peter Bower of Barnard College. In the simulation, students investigate the possibility of groundwater contamination in a virtual, fictional township by exploring the town’s infrastructure, meeting pertinent parties, and performing hydrological surveys and tests to gain an understanding of the groundwater system of the municipality.

Over twenty-five locations can be visited and forty-five characters can be interviewed including town residents, business owners, and local government officials. Students are presented with maps, documents, videos, and an extensive network of scientific data, mined with a suite of geological and hydrological testing tools to aid their investigation in determining the nature of any found contamination in the virtual town.