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University of Arizona launches major scientific research initiative at Biosphere 2

tinue as a major regional attraction and also serve as a laboratory for controlled scientific studies, an arena for scientific discovery and discussion, and a far-reaching public education center. B2 Earthscience, directed by UA Associate Professor of ecology and evolutionary biology Travis E. Huxman, will address issues of global environmental change using a multidisciplinary approach. B2 Institute, directed by UA Regents' Professor of physics and optical sciences Pierre Meystre, will conduct interdisciplinary programs to tackle scientific "Grand Challenges."

In addition, the UA will operate the popular Biosphere 2 tours. From 1991-2007, the facility had 2.3 million visitors. Biosphere 2 will serve Arizona and the public through education and outreach at all levels -- K-12 and continuing through adults -- that highlights the exceptional research programs at the UA.

B2 Earthscience Director Huxman said, "As a research facility, Biosphere 2 is unique in its spatial scale. The facility provides us a bridge between our small-scale, controlled, laboratory-based understandings of earth processes and experiments in field settings where we cannot control all environmental conditions. Biosphere 2's size allows us to do controlled experimentation at an unprecedented scale.

"A unique aspect of this facility is its ability to support experiments that will provide us the missing link between laboratory and real world."

I salute the Universitys deep commitment to conduct research in the Biosphere that will advance our understanding of the Earth, its biosphere and the impact upon it," said Ed Bass, co-founder of Biosphere 2 and president of the Philecology Foundation. Biosphere 2 was initially created as a tool to probe the essential environmental questions we must ask in the 21st century, and I look forward with great anticipation to what UA will discover.

The controlled-environment facility, 3.14 acres (1.27 hectares) in area,
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Contact: Mari N. Jensen
mnjensen@email.arizona.edu
520-626-9635
University of Arizona
26-Jun-2007


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