The hubby and I have been visiting Tucson for the last 21 years. We have just about seen and done all of the tourist things Tucson has to offer. One thing we hadn’t done was tour Biosphere 2. While in town this past week, we had a chance to go and what an amazing trip it was.
Originally constructed by a private investor for earth science research and as a test for life on the international space station, it is now owned and operated by the University of Arizona as a world-class research facility on climate change and a hands on teaching lab for the U of A life sciences department.
The biosphere houses five different and distinct ecosystems –
- Ocean with coral reef
- Mangrove wetlands
- Tropical rainforest
- Savannah grassland
- Fog desert
There are 6500 windows in the 3.14 acre facility. It was a sight to behold! There is currently many experiments running at the site, but one in particular, the LEO – Landscape Evolution Observatory was truly fascinating.
We were able to tour all of the different areas as well as see the living quarters of the first researchers who were sealed up in the facility for two years. It was a fascinating tour and one I would highly recommend to anyone visiting the Tucson area. For more information, visit their website http://b2science.org/
If you have middle school or high school students interested in science, the Biosphere offers a week-long summer camp where you learn from the researchers on site, with hands on research projects, creating and presenting your own research poster by the end of the week. What an incredible thing to be able to put on any college resume!