Biosphere 2, a science research facility in Oracle, north of Tucson, provides a unique opportunity to study ecosystems under controlled conditions. Its mission includes serving as a center for research, outreach, teaching, and life-long learning about Earth and its future.
The facility, now managed by the University of Arizona, is well-known to the public as the site of two missions, between 1991 and 1994, in which people were sealed inside the glass enclosure to measure survivability. The exercise yielded useful research that furthered ecological understanding, and Biosphere 2 continues to perform experiments and research to quantify some of the consequences of global climate change. The ecosystems in the 3.14-acre enclosure, on its 40-acre campus, include an ocean with coral reef, mangrove wetlands, tropical rainforest, savannah grassland, and fog desert.