Biosphere 2 - Where man controls Nature

Oracle Travel Blog

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Biosphere 2 managed by University of Arizona

It was a lazy Sunday with great weather outside, my mission to explore Arizona still unfinished I decided to find a place I have not visited outside of Tucson�s perimeter. I came up with two options; the Tohono Chul Park and Biosphere 2. I got online to find additional information on each and finally decided Biosphere 2 was it. I called ahead to make sure there was a tour I could join, the lady who politely answered the phone went ahead to give me additional information on pricing and hours of each tour including duration.Coffee in hand, I jumped into my Toyota and headed north on Kolb towards grant and onto skyline. Skyline lead me to the intersection of Ina and Oracle. A left turn on Oracle was pretty much my second last turn to the location of science�s home.

Touring Biosphere 2
Twenty miles on oracle which merges into Route 77 and soon I found myself at the entrance with a sign that read "Welcome to Biosphere 2" and the logo for the University of Arizona.

I joined the 11:45 a.m. tour, which was to last an hour and a half. The group I joined included visitors from Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, England, New York, Michigan, France, Texas and Phoenix. Our tour guide was one of the scientists who lives at the Biosphere and takes part in the on going research, he is as knowledgeable on the subject matter as no other scientist could be. We learned through the tour that the science experiment was a private venture by John Polk Allen and Margaret Augustine whose initial idea of the structure was for artificial closed ecological system.

Touring Biosphere 2
When it was first constructed in the late eighties (1987), the structure was to be used to explore the complex web of interactions within living systems in the biosphere as well as look into the possibility of colonizing outer pace with closed biosphere. The question at hand would then be "is it possible to do without harming mother earth?"

It is said that this is the place where science lives, you have to see it to really grasp the meaning of the statement "where science lives". It is the world�s largest center for scientific research, outreach, teaching, and life-long learning about Earth and its living systems. Some have referred to it as science under glass or life beyond the biodome. It is indeed an experiment that reminds me of man�s constant need to understand certain things that God never meant for us to understand.

Welcoming sight at the entrance of the Biosphere grounds in Oracle
The Biosphere 2 is under the management and administration of the University of Arizona one of the nation�s high achieving institutions, according to a report by the National Wildlife Federation and the Princeton Survey Research Associates International "Campus Environment 2008: A National Report Card on Sustainability in Higher Education"

The structure is massive, twice the size of a football field it surely qualifies to be the largest man made, man controlled closed system ever built. Walking through it was the tour progressed, I could not tell the difference in the air from the outside besides the humidity levels. The sealed environment allows scientists to monitor the continuously changing chemistry of air, water and soil contained within the structure.

Biodome
The scientists themselves were monitored constantly through the changes.Inside this huge enclosure is a rain forest, desert, savanna grassland and coral reefs. As we went through one region to another, our tour guide went into detail t explain the processes the scientists went through and how certain experiments worked and others failed. He explained how the scientists had to learn to grow food inside the biosphere and survive by harvesting, cooking and eating what they grew within. Can you imagine staying inside a sealed building for two years without physical contact with the outside world? That�s what happened at the biosphere 2 in 1991. Tough indeed, I could only imagine. We saw some coffee trees (if you know how coffee is grown, you know you will never have a cup of coffee for at least a few years).
A view of the biodomes

But the more interesting discovery by the scientists as they experimented was not about the human condition at all. It was the surprising finding that trees need exercise to survive. Apparently, because there was no wind within the Biosphere, the trees became very weak and began to flop, we saw one such tree in the fruit orchard. What I particularly found fascinating as the tour guide explained things was how the cacti lived and survived on the trees in the desert yet did not give back to the trees, interesting phenomena.O' in case you are wondering where biosphere 1 is, it is the current environment you live in; Earth as it is right now with all the pollution, fumes etc. Check out my review on Biospher 2 for additional information and photographs. Enjoy!.

oldschoolbill says:
So is the reason I am weak & keep flopping over lack of exercise or lack of wind?
Posted on: Nov 16, 2008
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Biosphere 2 managed by University …
Biosphere 2 managed by University…
Touring Biosphere 2
Touring Biosphere 2
Touring Biosphere 2
Touring Biosphere 2
Welcoming sight at the entrance of…
Welcoming sight at the entrance o…
Biodome
Biodome
A view of the biodomes
A view of the biodomes
Walk way to the Library tower
Walk way to the Library tower
A view of the Santa catalina mooun…
A view of the Santa catalina moou…
Our tour guide
Our tour guide
Biosphere 2
Biosphere 2
The savanagraasland dome
The savanagraasland dome
The desert dome
The desert dome
Biosphere 2
Biosphere 2
The rainforest dome
The rainforest dome
A welcome from the tour guide prio…
A welcome from the tour guide pri…
The desert dome, interestingly thi…
The desert dome, interestingly th…
Africancrab inside the rainforest …
Africancrab inside the rainforest…
The rainforest dome
The rainforest dome
The rainforest dome
The rainforest dome
The rainforest dome
The rainforest dome
The rainforest dome
The rainforest dome
Stairway to the fruit orchard
Stairway to the fruit orchard
Biosphere 2
Biosphere 2
Biosphere 2
Biosphere 2
The scientists
The scientists
The medical doctor who checked the…
The medical doctor who checked th…
air, water and condensed cooling f…
air, water and condensed cooling …
The upper Savannah basement
The upper Savannah basement
Touring Biosphere 2
Touring Biosphere 2
Touring Biosphere 2
Touring Biosphere 2
Touring Biosphere 2
Touring Biosphere 2
Touring Biosphere 2
Touring Biosphere 2
Touring Biosphere 2
Touring Biosphere 2
Biosphere 2
Biosphere 2
Touring Biosphere 2
Touring Biosphere 2
Touring Biosphere 2
Touring Biosphere 2
Touring Biosphere 2
Touring Biosphere 2
The desert dome
The desert dome
The desert dome
The desert dome
Touring Biosphere 2
Touring Biosphere 2
Touring Biosphere 2
Touring Biosphere 2
Touring Biosphere 2
Touring Biosphere 2
Touring Biosphere 2
Touring Biosphere 2
Touring Biosphere 2
Touring Biosphere 2
The Santa Catalina Mountain ranges
The Santa Catalina Mountain ranges
The Santa Catalina Mountain ranges
The Santa Catalina Mountain ranges
The Santa Catalina Mountain ranges
The Santa Catalina Mountain ranges
Oracle Sights & Attractions review
Biosphere 2, where is Biosphere 1?
Biosphere 2 is the only location on earth where man controls nature. Located in the shadows of the Santa Catalina mountains in Oracle, Arizona it repr… read entire review
Oracle
photo by: Africancrab