at 2: Juniors Attend 'Class under Glass' at Biosphere
Daane '04 (left), a physics and astronomy major, and Maria
Hunter '04, a physics major, are spending this semester
at Biosphere 2.
Riosphere 2, a three-acre
facsimile of Earth's ecosystems located north of Tucson,
Arizona, was originally built as a way to study whether human
life could be sustained on distant planets. Today the 250-acre
campus, which is run by Columbia University, is the site of a
range of research and education programs that are looking at issues
from global warming to life on other planets. This semester, astronomy
and physics major Abigail Daane '04 and physics major Maria
Hunter '04 have joined forty-nine undergraduates from across
the United States for Columbia's Earth and Universe Semester
Program at Biosphere 2.
It's not just "class
under glass" for Hunter and Daane. While Hunter, who is participating
in Columbia's Earth Semester, has the opportunity to take advantage
of this one-of-a-kind three-acre research facility, she will also
venture out into the surrounding Sonoran Desert and participate
in extended field exercisesperhaps as distant as the Grand
Canyon or the Sea of Cortez in Mexicoas she and her classmates
explore global issues such as greenhouse warming, energy sustainability,
water management, and biodiversity.
Along with other Universe
Semester participants, Daane will immerse herself in an intensive
astronomy and astrophysics program that takes advantage of southern
Arizona's dark skies, the Biosphere 2 observatory, and the
professional telescopes at Kitt Peak National Observatory near
For more information
about the Earth and Universe Semester at Biosphere 2, visit http://www.bio2.edu.