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Inside Biosphere 2: Earth Science Under Glass

By: Mary Kay Carson

Illustrator: Tom Uhlman

"[Research facility] Biosphere 2 is a bridge between a laboratory and the real world. It's a place where scientists can study how our living planet is changing." Glossary. Resources for additional information. Quote sources and selected bibliography. Index. Full-color photographs, diagrams, chart, and map.

ISBN: 9780544416642

JLG Release: Mar 2016


Sensitive Areas: None
Topics: The Biosphere 2 project , Closed ecological systems , Space environments , Human ecology , Ecological research , Oracle, Arizona , Scientists

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Nonfiction Middle

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Awards & Honors

NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students K–12, 2016
Booklist Lasting Connections, 2015
2016 CCBC Choices–Science, Technology, and the Natural World

Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, Booklist*, The Horn Book Magazine, The Horn Book Guide^, Kirkus Reviews, School Library Journal*

School Library Journal

[STARRED REVIEW]
The latest installment in this stellar series examines Biosphere 2, a research facility in Oracle, AZ. Biosphere 2 began as an engineering marvel and an experiment in creating a self-sustaining, closed biological system that could support a team of humans for two years. In 1993, when the original Biosphere 2 experiment e
[STARRED REVIEW]
The latest installment in this stellar series examines Biosphere 2, a research facility in Oracle, AZ. Biosphere 2 began as an engineering marvel and an experiment in creating a self-sustaining, closed biological system that could support a team of humans for two years. In 1993, when the original Biosphere 2 experiment ended amid controversy, few could have predicted what the future would hold for the research facility. While briefly addressing the original experiment and its triumphs and shortcomings, Carson focuses on telling a compelling story of the scientific research being conducted at Biosphere 2 today and the importance of that work in understanding our biosphere: the planet Earth. This enlightening title adeptly connects Biosphere 2’s past with its present and future. Stunning photographs, clear and colorful graphics, and illuminating insets enhance the appeal, and direct quotes from the Biosphere 2 scientists are liberally incorporated throughout. The processes, products, and purposes of the research are addressed, and information about the facility’s past is provided in a series of “Flashback to the Biospherians” photographic sidebars. VERDICT Highly recommended for all middle school science collections.—Kelly Kingrey-Edwards, Mirus Academy Library, TX

Horn Book

Carson takes readers into Biosphere 2, the research facility designed to be a selfsustaining model of Earth’s environments. There’s brief coverage of the innovative engineering and original mission of the facility (complete with photos of the first jumpsuit-clad human “biospherians” who were sealed inside from 1991 to 1993), Carson takes readers into Biosphere 2, the research facility designed to be a selfsustaining model of Earth’s environments. There’s brief coverage of the innovative engineering and original mission of the facility (complete with photos of the first jumpsuit-clad human “biospherians” who were sealed inside from 1991 to 1993), but the focus is primarily on current research under the direction of scientists at the University of Arizona. The ability to control environmental conditions within the contained rainforest, ocean, and giant soil laboratory allows researchers to investigate questions in earth science—prominently, those related to climate change—on a scale not possible in any other laboratory setting. Biogeochemist Joost van Haren has tinkered with the composition of the rainforest’s atmosphere for twenty years, examining the effects of excess carbon dioxide on the contained atmosphere, soil, and biomass. Hydrologist Luke Pangle built a huge artificial slope to study soil production and erosion. Sustainability coordinator Nate Allen researches the facility itself, examining how this “Model City” can reduce its energy footprint. Educational efforts at Biosphere 2 are also profiled, as the ocean biome is repurposed as a teaching and research lab. Plentiful photos of the researchers, facility, and surrounding environment capture the feel of a busy research center and show the nuts and bolts of maintaining controlled conditions. Uhlman’s photographs take us into back rooms and basements to see the wires, computers, pumps, and pipes that keep the place running. A glossary, index, references (including citations to the research papers produced by Biosphere 2 scientists), and places to read about the original project are appended. danielle j. ford

Book Details

ISBN

9780544416642

First Release

March 2016

Genre

Nonfic

Dewey Classification

304.2

Trim Size

Page Count

80

Accelerated Reader

Level 7; Points: 2;

Scholastic Reading Counts

Level 9.5; Points: 5;

Lexile

Level 1060L

Format

Print Book

Edition

Hardcover edition

Publisher

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Potentially Sensitive Areas

None

Topics

The Biosphere 2 project, Closed ecological systems, Space environments, Human ecology, Ecological research, Oracle, Arizona, Scientists,

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