“Biosphere 2 Earth Systems Research for Environmental Solutions” (biosphere2.org/education/research-experiences-for-undergraduates) is a 10-week summer Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program. Students participate in a variety of activities that will help them pursue a career in environmental sciences. They conduct their own research with a faculty mentor, interact with other participants and scientists, and present research findings in a formal poster symposium setting. Unique components of the Biosphere 2 REU experience are interaction with the public visitors to Biosphere 2 and training in effective outreach related to student research topics. Additionally, students participate in professional development workshops, an ethics-in-science workshop, and field trips to local attractions. Undergraduate students from a wide range of disciplines and interests including biology, ecology, plant sciences, hydrology, soil science, geology, atmospheric science, mathematics, physics, chemistry, or computer science are encouraged to apply. Only U.S. citizens or permanent residents are eligible for this NSF (National Science Foundation) funded program.
Student projects take advantage of the Biosphere 2 research infrastructure, allowing for a high degree of control at large scales, and the NSF Critical Zone Observatory (CZO) (criticalzone.org/catalina-jemez) and other field sites in the Sonoran desert and sky island mountains around Tucson to improve our understanding of Earth systems. Projects focus on a variety of topics that include (but aren't limited to): coupling ecohydrology and biogeochemistry, investigating abiotic and biotic contributions to ecosystem processes, integrating measurements across scales, using innovative tools to link climate and ecological function, and modeling of ecosystem and soil processes. Students work with several outreach organizations (e.g., Institute of the Environment, Water Resources Research Center, Native Nations Climate Adaptation Program) at the University of Arizona to link their research to addressing local and global environmental challenges.
REU Students receive a competitive stipend, lodging at Biosphere 2's student village, food allowance, and travel to and from Tucson, AZ, as well as support for travel to a professional meeting to present their work. Applications for summer of 2018 (June 4 - Aug 10, 2018) are due March 1st, 2018, and application material can be found at: biosphere2.org/education/reu-application-form