Biosphere 2

Back Again

Scott’s been on me lately.  “Why have you stopped writing… again?”  That makes me happy.  He likes the blog.  So do I. 

Here’s the thing, we’re homeschooling, traveling far too much (I still overestimate how much can be done in a day) and we’re trying to build a company from scratch in a niche that doesn’t really seem to exist (which, contrary to popular belief, is NOT the easiest way to start a business).  On top of all that I’m trying very hard to keep up a daily meditation practice, exercise (because we got pudgy again… because beer) AND my body unfortunately requires 8+ hours of sleep.  It’s a full dance card.  

I say that… and then I caught myself scrolling through social media for well over an hour the other day while we were driving… so… come on, Warren… get your priorities straight, Woman.

Bucket List

Yesterday was a bucket list day for me… Not so much for everyone else, but they were accommodating nonetheless.  

I remember all the excitement over Biosphere 2 in the early 90s. Honestly, until yesterday, I assumed people were still locked inside it completely cut off from Biosphere 1 (which we learned is us, planet Earth, the OG biosphere).  

Those brave souls who lived inside were in place for 2 whole years.  Then they voted to get out. (They weren’t locked in, either. It was entirely voluntary.) I wouldn’t have volunteered.  It’s not THAT big.

Since the seal was broken, the micro environments retain much of their… independence?… from the outside world.  But they let us in, so it’s no longer a completely separate world. That’s true except for the rainforest. That section is currently sealed because they’re in the process of making a drought. As that happens the scientists are measuring the gas output of leaves, which Scott believes may be the most boring job in the entire world.

This is a place for scientists.  Experiments are going on everywhere.  All of the conditions are controlled. They’re doing impactful work and it’s very exciting to visit. 

An Aside

Full disclosure, I probably would have ended up here if I had made the “other” decision coming out of college.  I was accepted into Columbia’s Environmental Science masters program and Boston University’s astrophysics program.  The latter won out because no one in their right mind would say no to putting an experiment on a sounding rocket.  Right?  Come on.  But I enjoy earth sciences just as much as the space stuff. And measuring the gas output of leaves? I did something similar with blueberries testing for pesticide residue as part of a summer research project. For the record, not boring at all.

I was proud of both kids on the tour.  Jack turned off pretty quickly but managed to keep it together enough to not bother anyone. He asked to go swimming in the ocean. Carol The Tour Guide said no.  Evie glued herself to Carol and stayed in the #2 position the entire time.  She asked questions.  She is, without a doubt, my mini-me.

In Conclusion

What a day?!  I know most people wouldn’t think twice about going to this place. But it’s so worth the couple of hours. In fact, Arizona… I don’t like all the picky things and all the poisonous things but you sure do have more than your fair share of wicked cool things to see and do.  I’m kind of a huge fan.

First Sight
“It looks like an Earthship!”
The airlock
The ocean
Best students on the tour
The ceiling
Can’t imagine being trapped in here for 2 years!
The technosphere (inside the biosphere) mimics Mother Nature.
The Lung – when sealed the building ‘breathes’