Mobile-based Games, Situated Documentaries, Interactive Stories and Geo-Spatial Tools


DowSplashDow Day is a mobile-based documentary that virtually places you on the campus of the University of Wisconsin in 1967, at a time when students were protesting against the Dow Chemical Corporation’s production of napalm for use in the Vietnam war. As you visit various locations on campus where the events originally took place, you take on the role of a news reporter and investigate the different interests and perspectives of students, school administrators, police officers and Dow Chemical employees. Learn more about Dow Day by checking out the ARIS website, watching this video, or reading one of these articles: A Window to the Past: Using Augmented Reality Games to Support Historical Inquiry or Media Literacy: New Agendas in Communication. Dow Day is also referenced in these online articles: The Magic of Going Mobile: Augmented Reality, Design Thinking and the Power of Place and Mobile histories: How mobile technologies transform history teaching.

Role: Archival Researcher, Producer, Curriculum Developer, Educational Researcher.


Up River is a mobile-based interactive story that takes place in the St. Louis River Estuary. At the start of the story players meet a chef who tasks them with creating a meal from native species found in the estuary. To guide them the chef gives the players a series of sub-quests that requires them to explore three key locations along the estuary: the downtown tourist district, an industrial area that serves as a hub of shipping and industry and finally a restored wetland. Up River was designed by combining original ethnographic work, archival records, and scientific data collected by scientists who study the estuary. It is also designed to encourage users to make their own scientific and cultural observations. For more information on Up River checkout this article. To learn more about the broader project that Up River was part of visit St. Louis River Estuary: The Stories and the Science.

Role: Field and Archival Researcher, Co-Designer, Project Consultant.


Siftr is a web-based field data collection and visualization platform developed by the Field Day Lab that allows users to upload and share geo-tagged images and observations. Uploaded content can be viewed on a map based on its geo-location or via a photo gallery. Users can filter through images by selecting specific locations on the map, searching by keyword and/or sorting by categories. Siftr is designed to be a flexible tool that can be used for a wide range of collaborative field research projects in both the sciences and social sciences. It has been used in a variety of K-16 settings, in both formal and informal contexts. Learn more about Siftr by visiting

Role: Design Researcher, Educational Researcher, Outreach Specialist.



ARIS (Augmented Reality Interactive Storytelling) is a user-friendly, open-source platform for creating and playing mobile games, tours and interactive stories. Using GPS and QR Codes, ARIS players experience a hybrid world of virtual interactive characters, items and media placed in physical space. A key goal of the broader ARIS project is to foster interdisciplinary collaborations across a dispersed group of users, including non-programmers and novice media designers. Learn more about ARIS by visiting

Role: Design Researcher, Educational Researcher, Outreach Specialist



Sick at South Shore Beach is a place-based Augmented Reality game and curricular unit designed around South Shore Beach, a mixed-recreational park in Milwaukee – an urban city of 600,000. Students role-play as water chemists, public health doctors, or wildlife ecologists who have been called upon to investigate a collection of illnesses that are linked to the beach. During the unit, players visit South Shore Beach to play the game on a GPS-enabled mobile device. The information gathered during the game/visit, along with research conducted in the classroom, provides students with evidence to formulate, present and defend their final hypotheses. Using a situated cognitive view of learning, the game and curriculum situates students’ learning around authentic contexts and positions them as active participants in the inquiry process, allowing them to use the language and practices of doctors and scientists to investigate and discuss similar “real-world” problems.

Role: Lead Designer, Curriculum Developer, Educational Researcher.


Riverside is a game designed for the Urban Ecology Center, an environmental research, recreation, and educational site located along the Milwaukee River. As they explore Riverside Park, players interact with virtual characters, plants, and animals. They also make observations, learn how the park was used differently throughout history, and discover how the local ecosystem has been impacted by human actions. A key component of the game requires players to investigate the multiple perspectives surrounding plans to develop the park. In the end, they are tasked with using this information to propose their own plan for how the park should be developed.

Role: Archival Researcher, Co-Designer, Curriculum Developer, Educational Researcher.



Zen Master uses a place-specific quest structure to introduce players to basic mindfulness practices and encourage them to notice and interact with the local landscape in new ways. I built it to exemplify the potential of mobile media to promote mindfulness activities and as a prototype for a grant application associated with games for health.

Role: Lead Designer