by by Mary Kay Carson
School Library Journal Gr 5-8-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 © Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Book list *Starred Review* Continuing the tradition of excellence established by other award-winning titles in the Scientists in the Field series is Carson's latest on the Arizona-based research project Biosphere 2. Formerly a self-contained mini-Earth inhabited by a group of scientists for a 730-day stretch starting in 1991, Biosphere 2 now acts as a bridge between a laboratory and the real world, combining research with public education and tours. Well-organized chapters, extensive color photographs, and diagrams supplement an engaging narrative that follows several scientists and their hands-on research. Scientists whose work is explored include a biogeochemist, a marine ecologist, an earth scientist and water expert, and a sustainability expert. No longer focused on how to colonize Mars, Biosphere 2's research directly impacts people's lives. From examining how forests handle climate change and the impact of the ocean becoming more acidic, to developing a deeper understanding of the water cycle for soil erosion and predicting climate conditions, the scope of the research is vast. There's not another experiment like this in the world, says Biosphere scientist Luke Pangle. A glossary, bibliography, and extensive list of online sources provide an excellent jumping-off point for further student research. Truly eye-opening.--Barnes, Jennifer Copyright 2015 Booklist
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