B2 Earthscience involves an array of natural, experimental and modeling research, along with education and outreach programs all aimed at understanding earth, ecological and environmental processes important for the sustainability and resilience of our coupled human–natural world in the face of global environmental change.
B2 Earthscience is utilizing the unique attributes of Biosphere 2 to conduct research that cannot be accomplished anywhere else, by anyone else. This research will be:
- Related to important University of Arizona missions
- Science that serves Arizona first and enhances our way of life
- Science that tackles scientific Grand Challenges
Beneficial to The University of Arizona's students
The University of Arizona is building a research program to bridge the gap between laboratory and field-scale studies utilizing the unique infrastructure of Biosphere 2. The facility offers unparalleled opportunities to explore complex questions in earth sciences, allowing highly controlled experiments to be conducted at varying scales with precise manipulation and close monitoring.
Biosphere 2 permits environmental variables to be tightly controlled even at a large spatial scale such as that of the different wilderness biomes represented under the glass. It also permits testing and utilization of novel techniques and instruments that are not amenable to field studies. This ability to obtain high-resolution measurements and finely manipulate variables is crucial for developing experiments of more mechanistic nature. Thus Biosphere 2 has the potential to provide unique contributions to the understanding of how earth systems respond to environmental change. Past research at Biosphere 2 has made significant scientific contributions in areas such as the understanding of ecosystem responses to elevated carbon dioxide concentrations.
Under new administration by the University of Arizona, we intend to extend this approach to the study of two primary areas, water and climate, and energy and sustainability. By building upon the academic excellence of the University of Arizona and its large external scientific network in hydrology, geology, geochemistry, ecology, biology, physics, engineering, and atmospheric sciences, we are developing a strong multidisciplinary team of researchers who are designing and deploying top-notch science to address complex scientific questions in environmental sciences.