The University of Arizona invites you to become an active participant in the following science research and outreach efforts.
Green Roofs Project
“Green roofs” with growing plants are part of a “green infrastructure” movement to improve harsh, degraded urban environments. These rooftop gardens can reduce energy use for houses and provide urban oases for wildlife. Importantly, they also have the potential to combat the urban heat island effect, moderating temperatures for individual buildings and their surrounding areas. Here in the hot, desert Southwest, we are especially interested in green infrastructure with the potential to cool down our overheated cities. UA faculty from Biosphere 2, the School of Landscape Architecture and Planning, and the School of Natural Resources are investigating the types of soil, irrigation schedules, and plant species that are best suited to green roofs in the Southwest. At the Biosphere 2 we are also dedicated to citizen science -- we want to give our diverse visitors the chance to participate in our experiments and inquiry in real time. Click here to learn more about doing hands-on science for the Green Roof Project, either now or on your next visit to the Biosphere 2!
GLOBE at Night program
The GLOBE at Night program is an international citizen-science campaign to raise public awareness of the impact of light pollution by inviting citizen-scientists to measure their night sky brightness and submit their observations to a website from a computer or smart phone. Light pollution threatens not only our “right to starlight”, but can affect energy consumption, wildlife and health. People in 115 countries have contributed over 65,000 measurements, making GLOBE at Night the most successful light pollution awareness campaign to date. Find out more (including the campaign dates) at www.globeatnight.org.
RainLog is a network of over 1,000 volunteers that use backyard rain gauges to monitor precipitation across Arizona and in neighboring states. Data collected are used for research, watershed management activities, drought monitoring, and educational programs at local, county, and state levels. RainMapper is a free service that sends email notices to subscribers about recent precipitation amounts in their neighborhoods.
National Phenology Network
Phenology is the study of periodic plant and animal life cycle events and how they are influenced by seasonal and other variations in climate. Examples include the timing of leafing and flowering, insect emergence, and animal migration. The National Phenology Network seeks volunteers to be part of a massive observing campaign to monitor these environmental events in their localities.
Master Watershed Stewards
This program educates and trains citizens across the state of Arizona to serve as volunteers in the protection, restoration, monitoring, and conservation of their water and watersheds.
“House Energy” Doctor Program
UA architecture students will come to your home or office to perform a comprehensive energy audit for your building and provide specific information on how to decrease your energy use.
Citizen Scientists Studying Evapotranspiration
A collaboration between Biosphere 2 and researchers in the School of Natural Resources and UA Computer Science is developing information technology and methods to bring ongoing, cutting-edge science experiments into K-12 classrooms. The goal is to provide a direct conduit between scientists and the classroom to simultaneously enhance science education and enable experimental studies on a large scale.
What on Earth? Mapping Rainforest Plants
Imagine you are a tropical biologist conducting a survey of the plants that are still alive in the rainforest—we actually have a biologist doing this right now! One way to figure out which species you are looking at is to compare its location to the original plant maps. Click title to learn more.