My most ambitious and exciting project is to transform the 700,000 gallon ocean biome at the Biosphere 2 into a living model of the Gulf of California. We want to show our visitors and school groups the close connections between the amazing Sonoran desert and the amazing Gulf of California.
And we want to display some of the amazing life forms of the Gulf.
It will also be a great platform for marine research and marine technology testing, because Biosphere 2 is wholly unique in the world as a large scale ecological mesocosm–a place that captures some of the complexity of nature, but has the control of a laboratory.
We’ve already gotten started by renovating an old dark ocean gallery into a bright space that tells the amazing parallel stories of the Gulf and the Biosphere 2 ocean. The gallery also features the Return to the Sea of Cortez exhibit about a 2004 expedition I was on to retrace the famous trip of John Steinbeck and my hero, the marine biologist Ed Ricketts, to the Gulf in 1940.
The Desert Sea project is huge, but that’s exactly what Biosphere 2 was built to do–tackle big environmental challenges in unprecedented ways.
Right now, we are thick into the planning and fundraising stages, so if you want to help out with either, please contact me: