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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Biosphere 2 brings science to the people

    Not getting enough wildlife with ASU in town for the weekend? The UA Biosphere 2 will be hosting its eighth Science Saturday, where you can learn how to better coexist in a changing environment during a changing climate.

    “”Science Saturday is Biosphere’s effort to have sort of hands on content available for visitors to supplement what they see when they tour the biosphere,”” said Matt Adamson, the Biosphere 2 program coordinator for education and outreach.

    Biosphere 2’s goal is to promote citizen science. In an effort to do that, Adamson said that there are a group of graduate students whose purpose is to inform the public about their research.

    “”These graduate students are to essentially make their research as accessible to the public as possible,”” Adamson said.

    Saturday’s lecture will focus on how certain species of birds react to changes in seasons, said Kathi Borgmann, a natural resources doctoral student.

    “”I am talking about changes in vegetation throughout the breeding season and how that influences breeding birds,”” said Borgmann. For instance, “”looking at things such as how foliage patterns can affect nesting success of song birds.””

    Borgmann said that it is essential for people to realize that all things on Earth play a role in shaping the environment.

    “”I am hoping that people will start to understand that in the environment things are very interconnected,”” Borgmann said. “”Everything is related and with the changing climate we need to start thinking about how the climate’s going to change things in terms of vegetation.””

    As a part of her talk, Borgmann will take participants into the biosphere and attempt to provide some real life examples, Adamson said.

    “”In addition to talking to the folks, she is going to actually take people out and … she is going to pre-hide some nests,””

    Adamson said. “”They will be hidden in a way that they would be found naturally occurring so people will kind of learn to identify where nests would be established by a particular

    species of bird.””

    Events such as Science Saturday provide the local community with an opportunity to become hands-on with their environment and really understand what they can do to make a difference, Borgmann said.

    “”With all of the changes in our world today it is important for people to start to understand what’s happening and how they can contribute,”” Borgmann said. “”One of the things I am going to be talking about is this citizen science program in which people can go out there and start collecting their own data to help answer some of these fundamental questions that I am trying to address.””

    The Biosphere is less than an hour from the UA, located on Oracle Road and Mile Post 96.5, and Adamson said that with the minimal price difference it makes sense to purchase a year’s membership so you can come back whenever you want.

    “”Quite a few people have purchased memberships and have come back week after week to either hear the lectures in the morning or to participate in some of the Science Saturday events in the afternoon,”” Adamson said.

    The event starts at 2 p.m. admission is $20 for adults, $13 for children six and over and all admissions are half price with a UA CatCard. Adamson said you are sure to get your money’s worth.

    “”There was a young man of maybe 13 or 14 and he was quoted … he said, ‘Yeah this is more fun than playing Nintendo,'””

    Adamson said.

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