An Exciting Visit to Biosphere 2!

Biosphere 2’s iconic pyramid structure stands tall among the arid Arizona desert. 

During their visit to the NAAEE conference last week, NY Sun Works leadership had the exciting opportunity to visit Biosphere 2 and experience its unique enclosed science environment firsthand. The glass structure is a large-scale example of controlled environment agriculture, in the same vein as the work we’re doing in our hydroponic farm classrooms, but instead utilizing soil farming and experimenting with a variety of climates. Meant to mimic Biosphere 1 (Planet Earth), Biosphere 2 houses seven model ecosystems including a mature rainforest with over 90 tropical tree species, a 91,818-cubic-foot ocean, and three desert hillslope grass-shrubland landscapes.

Located 20 miles north of Tucson, Arizona, Biosphere 2 is one of the most powerful initiatives in climate and sustainability research today. This 3-acre research facility is described as “a unique large-scale experimental apparatus”, and is easily recognizable by the iconic 6,500 windows which comprise the glass facility’s exterior. Since its main apparatus concluded construction in 1991, it has seen over 500,000 K-12 student visitors who are encouraged to view themselves as scientists. Known primarily for the 2-year research mission in which 8 men and women were sealed inside, living completely off the food, air, and water contained within, the facility’s diverse structure has provided us with deeper insights into complex environmental systems and their sustainability. Thanks to projects like Biosphere 2, the future of climate research and environmental education is looking ever brighter.

Learn more about Biosphere 2 Here!