Book review: Inside Biosphere 2: Earth Science under Glass, by Mary Kay Carson, photographs by Tom Uhlman

Carson, Mary Kay. Inside Biosphere 2: Earth Science under Glass. Photo. by Tom Uhlman. [Scientists in the Field Series]. Houghton Mifflin. 2015. $18.99. 80p. 978-0-544-41664-2. Ages 11-14. P6Q6

Carson Inside Biosphere 2In 1987, a private company started building a 3.14 acre artificial ecological system north of Tucson (AZ) and named it Biosphere 2 as the second fully self-sufficient biosphere on Earth. The company dissolved in the mid 1990s, and the University of Arizona saved Biosphere 2 from being demolished in 2007. Biosphere is now used for research, public education, and tours as shown through these color photographs and diagrams combined with descriptions of the work from a biogeochemist, a marine ecologist, an earth scientist and water expert, and a sustainability expert. With weak writing, the book’s best feature is the illustrations although they might have shown more. For example, one photo fails to show the heating and cooling grates that are described in the cutline. One large photo of cholla is actually a “cane cholla,” different from the more typical chollas. Budding scientists will enjoy browsing the book, however, as an important look into sustainability research.

April 2016 review by Nel Ward.

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