Sponsored by the College of Science, this series of public talks, given by University of Arizona professors and graduate students bring the community together in a casual setting to learn about the latest research being conducted. You can get to know the faces behind the science, have opportunities to ask questions and deepen your understanding of the world around you. There are five, separate café series at different locations around Tucson now including Tucson Botanical Gardens.  Come join the conversation!

Learn more about UA Science Cafés 

First Thursday of the Month, September-December, 6 to 7 p.m.

Biosphere 2 Science for the Future of Our Planet

Thursday, 9/5, 6–7pm, Free

Kevin Bonine, Director of Education-Outreach, UA College of Science; Biosphere 2

The University of Arizona leads cutting-edge research at Biosphere 2, a small-scaled replica of our planet. For over 25 years, its mission has been to serve as a center for research, outreach, teaching and life-long learning about Earth, its living systems, and its place in the universe. Current studies focus on the cycling of energy, water, and carbon in controlled environments. From modeling drought conditions in the rainforest, seeking answers to food security for billions to testing coral reef resilience in changing oceans, scientists hope to prepare us for our future world. In this series, explore Biosphere 2 from the tops of the trees to the shore of it’s ocean.

Changing Landscapes from the Ground Up

Thursday, 10/3, 6–7pm, Free

Katerina Dontsova, Associate Professor, UA Department of Environmental Science

The Landscape Evolution Observatory (LEO) is a unique experiment at the UA Biosphere 2, consisting of three, massive, earthen slopes. Each plot consists of crushed basalt rock that serves as the basis for soil formation.  This study compares landscape changes when varying levels of rainfall and differing microbes and plants are introduced to the LEO plots. Results of how the experimental plots evolve will be compared to the range of diversity found in nature. This study aims to deepen our understanding of how landscapes may change as climate changes.

Coral Reef Resilience: Hope for the Oceans

Thursday, 11/7, 6–7pm, Free

Diane Thompson, Assistant Professor, UA Department of Geoscience; Director, Marine Research, Biosphere 2

The UA Biosphere 2 Ocean (B2O) has begun the first phase of an exciting project that will investigate novel solutions for restoring degraded coral reefs to resiliency. As we work to heal the coral reef in the B2O, we’ll learn of the critical, physical, chemical, and biological conditions necessary for rebuilding adaptable, coral reefs worldwide. Key herbivore species have also been introduced to test novel solutions for restoring reef health.  This talk will give an overview of this exciting project, and highlight initial insights from the bioremediation of the B2 Ocean.

Effects of Drought on Tropical Rainforests

Thursday, 12/5, 6–7pm, Free

Laura Meredith, Assistant Professor, UA School of Natural Resources and the Environment; Director, Biosphere 2 Tropical Rainforest

The Biosphere 2 Tropical Rainforest provides a unique opportunity to holistically evaluate how these vital ecosystems respond to environmental change. This Fall, an international team of scientists will come together and conduct a controlled drought experiment. We will evaluate the impacts of environmental stress on the carbon and water cycle. Specifically, the team will study the biological coping mechanisms of plants and microbes under drought conditions. In this talk, learn of initial results from this exciting research campaign. Discover how biodiversity and environmental impacts may shift with dryer tropical rainforests.

Series special Offer!

*Guests of the Science Café are invited to stroll the gardens, after the talk, courtesy of the Tucson Botanical Gardens (Open until 8:00 p.m.)
*It is strongly suggested that guests make reservations in advance, if they would like to dine @ Café Botanica


Please click here for complete schedule: http://www.cos.arizona.edu/content/tucson-botanical-gardens