About Biosphere 2
Biosphere 2 serves as a laboratory for controlled scientific studies, an arena for scientific discovery and discussion, and a far-reaching provider of public education. Its ability to combine varying scales, precise manipulation and fine monitoring together in controlled experiments provides scientists with the unique opportunity to explore complex environmental questions.
In this one-of-a-kind facility, UA researchers are using the Landscape Evolution Observatory, the world's largest laboratory experiment in earth sciences, to answer questions about how physical and biological processes control the evolution of landscapes and how water flows through the environment. In the simulated rainforest, scientists are studying how plants cope with high temperatures and drought to better understand how climate change may affect forests. Outside, researchers are growing plants beneath solar panels, pairing renewable energy with agriculture as they explore innovative ways to grow nutritious food crops while increasing energy output.
The University of Arizona has supported Biosphere 2 research since it took over management of the iconic facility in 2007. The University acquired the facility in 2011. Visit the Biosphere 2 website
Joaquin Ruiz, Ph.D.
Director, Biosphere 2
Dean, College of Science
Vice President for Innovation, University of Arizona
Joaquin Ruiz addresses many first-order problems in the earth sciences, such as the development of new isotope systems for studying ore deposits and the tectonic processes involved in the growth and evolution of Mexico. His research team addresses problems ranging from the origins of life to present-day climate change.
Kevin Bonine, Ph.D.
Director, Education and Outreach, Biosphere 2
Joint Faculty in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and the School of Natural Resources and the Environment, University of Arizona
Kevin Bonine's background includes herpetology, ecology, evolutionary physiology and conservation biology. In addition to teaching undergraduate courses, he strives to share the importance of science, including the process and key findings, with the public and K-12 students and educators. Bonine has been appointed to a position funded by the Philecology Chair for Biospheric Research.
Peter Troch, Ph.D.
Science Director, Biosphere 2
Professor, Department of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Arizona
Peter Troch's current research involves seasonal, decadal and climate predictions of water availability in semi-arid river basins, as well as developing research infrastructure to investigate Critical Zone processes across climate gradients. He has been appointed to a position funded by the Philecology Chair for Biospheric Research.
Content from the UA
Biosphere 2 Receives $30M Gift | UA news release
An Ocean Under Glass (video) | University of Arizona
Coverage by the Media
Why are Scientists Building an 'Ocean' in the Middle of a Desert? | National Geographic
Biosphere 2: Real Life Reality TV | Huffington Post
Why Planet Earth is Truly Irreplaceable | Newsweek
Inside Biosphere 2: The World's Largest Earth Science Experiment (video) | PBS The Good Stuff
1st Look: The Future (video) | NBC
X-Ray Earth (video – Biosphere 2 piece starts at 41:30) | National Geographic
Teenagers Ask Big Questions at Biosphere 2's Summer Academy (video) | Arizona Public Media