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In the Arizona desert, scientists conduct studies and experiments aimed to help us better understand our environment and what sort of things are happening to it due to climate change. The location is Biosphere 2, an immense structure that contains a replica ocean, savannah, and rainforest, among other Earth biomes. It’s a unique take on the Scientists in the Field mission statement — in this case, the lab is a replica that allows the scientists to conduct large-scale experiments that would otherwise be impossible.
Biospherian Mark Nelson offers insider perspectives on Biosphere 2 and bold insights into today's global ecological challenges--Provided by publisher.
The life story of John P. Allen, inventor of the largest laboratory for global ecology ever built and one of the most luminous minds of our time. Contained within a magnificently designed air-tight glass-and-steel-framed setting, Biosphere 2 covered three acres of Arizona desert and included models of seven biomes: an ocean with coral reef, marsh, rainforest, savannah, desert, farm and a micro-city. Eight people lived inside this structure for two years (1991-1993) and set world recordsin human life support while monitoring their impact on the environment and providing crucial data for future manned missions into outer space. Humorous and reminiscent of Whitman, Me and the Biospheres is a tribute to the ingenuity and dauntlessness of the human mind and a passionate call to reawaken to the beauty of our peerless home, Biosphere 1, the Earth.
"Biosphere 2" rises from southern Arizonas high desert like a bizarre hybrid spaceship and greenhouse. Packed with more than 3,800 carefully selected plant, animal, and insect species, this mega-terrarium is one of the world's most biodiverse, lush, and artificial wildernesses. Only recently transformed from an abandoned ghost dome to a University of Arizona research center, the site was the setting of a grand drama about humans and ecology at the end of the twentieth century. The seeds of Biosphere 2 sprouted in the 1970s at Synergia, a desert ranch in New Mexico where John Allen and a handful of dreamers united to create a self-reliant utopia centered on ecological work, study, and their traveling experimental theater troupe, "The Theater of All Possibilities." At a time of growing tensions in the American environmental consciousness, the Synergians took on varied projects around the world that sought to mend the rift between humans and nature. In 1984, they bought a piece of desert to build Biosphere 2. Eco-enthusiasts competed to become the eight "biospherians" who would lock themselves inside the giant greenhouse world for two years to live in harmony with their wilderness, grow their own food, and recycle all their air, water, and wastes. Thin and short on oxygen, the biospherians stoically completed their survival mission, but the communal spirit surrounding Biosphere 2 eventually dissolved into conflict--ultimately the facility would be seized by armed U.S. Marshals. Yet for all the story's strangeness, perhaps strangest of all was how normal Biosphere 2 actually was. The story of this grand eco-utopian adventure (and misadventure) becomes a parable about the relationship between humans and nature in postmodern America. Visit the authors' website at www.dreamingthebiosphere.com
It's a story that has never been told … until now. Imagine being sealed into a closed environment for two years — cut off from the outside world with only seven other people — enduring never-ending hunger, severely low levels of oxygen, and extremely difficult relationships. Crew members struggled to survive in Biosphere 2, where they swore nothing would go in or out — no food or water, not even air — all in the name of science. For the first time, biospherian Jane Poynter — who lived and loved in the Biosphere — is ready to share what really happened in there. She takes readers on a riveting, fast-paced trip through shattered lives, scientific discovery, cults, love, fears of insanity, and inspiring human endurance. The eight biospherians who closed themselves into the Biosphere emerged 730 days later… much wiser, thinner, and having done what many had said was impossible.
Dr. Merlin Tuttle and his colleagues at Bat Conservation International aren't scared of bats. These bat crusaders are fascinated by them, with good reason. Bats fly the night skies in nearly every part of the world, but they are the least studied of all mammals. As the major predator of night-flying insects, bats eat many pests. Unfortunately bats are facing many problems, including a terrifying new disease. White-nose Syndrome is infecting and killing millions of hibernating bats in North America. But Dr. Tuttle, with the help of his fellow bat scientists are in the trenches—and caves—on the front line of the fight to save their beloved bats.

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