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 our glass including: ocean, mangrove wetlands, tropical rainforest, savanna grassland, and fog desert.

A visits to Biosphere 2 includes a comprehensive tour of the facility with an interactive discussion of the Biosphere 2 project through time; a look “under the glass” at the biological systems within the structure; and exposure to past and current research underway, with 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 are 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 (July - December) or $12 (January - June) per student with a minimum of 20 students and 2 chaperones. For smaller group sizes, please contact us.

Consider adding a hands-on, NGSS standards-based activity to your Biosphere 2 experience!  Enriching environmental science lessons for students visiting Biosphere 2 include:

  • For grades 4-6:

    • “Water Makes the World Go Round” - an introduction to the water cycle, the principle of density, and an introduction to ecosystems.
    • “Squid Examination - a completely hands-on laboratory experience that introduces students to the Humboldt squid, Dosidicus gigas.
  • For grades 5-9:

    • “Introduction to Climate Change” - students explore differences between 'weather' and 'climate', learn about the Greenhouse effect, and examine what humanity can do about climate change.
  • For grades 6-9:

    • “Planet Water” - students will learn about the world's water, Arizona's water, and will receive an introduction to oceanography.
  • For grades 6-10:

    • “Marine Science Laboratory” - a hands-on, student-driven field lab experience that introduces students to the studies of oceanography, marine biology, and marine ecology.  Note: due to space, this program is limited to 24 students total, with 6-8 students per station.  This is a day long field trip.

New activities are frequently added!  Please visit our website at for the most up-to-date information, and for more details about each activity.

*Note: Cost of these activities is variable based on the activity selected, and is in addition to the tour costs.

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