Biosphere 2

Location: Biosphere 2, Oracle, AZ


The University of Arizona Biosphere 2 has a unique history that has led to its current purpose and mission in the College of Science to serve as a center for research, outreach, teaching and life-long learning about Earth, its living systems, and its place in the universe. The name “Biosphere 2” derives from the idea that it is modeled after Earth, the first biosphere. There are five ecosystems under glass including: ocean, mangrove wetlands, tropical rainforest, savanna grassland, and fog desert.

Visits to Biosphere 2 include a comprehensive tour of the facility with an interactive discussion of the Biosphere 2 project through time; a look inside “under-the-glass” at the biological systems within the structure; exposure to past and current research underway, including an emphasis on the current flagship study: the Landscape Evolution Observatory (LEO).  The tour can easily be made relevant to current classroom study in consultation with the teacher beforehand.

Audience: K-10

Science Fields: Biology, Earth Sciences, Ecology, Marine Biology, Hydrology, and General Science

Schedule: Dates available year-round. Teachers may reserve a visit time by contacting To make an immediate group booking, please call 520-838-6192 between 9am-4pm.

Tour Cost: $10 per student with a minimum of 20 students. For smaller group sizes please contact us.

Contact: Matt Adamson, Education and Outreach, Biosphere 2,, 520-838-6137.

Consider adding a hands-on, standards-based activity to your Biosphere 2 experience (*additional cost)!  Enriching environmental science lessons for students visiting Biosphere 2.:

  • Grades K-3:
    “Biosphere 2:  The Place for Plants!”  Plant structure and function, pollination, guided walk.
  • Grades K-3:
    “Birding at the Biosphere!” Bird identification, bird habitats and behaviors, guided walk
  • Grades 4-6:
    “Water Makes the World Go Round”; Water cycle, ecosystems, principle of density
    “Squid Examination: Appreciating Biodiversity”; Introduction to the animal kingdom, meet Dosidicus Gigas, guided examination
  • Grades 4-9:
    “Plankton: Welcome to the Bottom of the Food Chain”; Understanding planktonic life, principle of neutral buoyancy, constructing 3D models
  • Grades 5-9:
    “Introduction to Climate Change”; Climate versus weather, the greenhouse effect, constructing 3D molecule models
    “Planet Water”; The distribution of Earth’s water, introduction to oceanography, Arizona river mapping.
  • Grades 6-10:
    “Marine Science Laboratory”; observation skills and teamwork, biome and lab stations, data collection and analysis with analogue and digital tools

New activities are frequently added.  Please visit our website for the most up-to-date information and for more details about each activity. *Cost is variable based on the activity selected.