Places to Visit
The University of Arizona College of Science is known as a world leader in teaching, learning, and discovery. As a trailblazer in the fields of astronomy, ecology, evolutionary biology, geology, hydrology and tree-ring research, the College of Science has established an international reputation for excellence. Facilities managed by the College of Science - such as Biosphere 2, Tumamoc, Flandrau Science Center, UA Science Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter, the Mirror Lab, and Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research - provide a strong foundation for the collaborative promotion of all Tucson-area Geotourism attractions.
You can find directions to Biosphere 2 and Tumamoc Hill under their brochure links.
Come tour one of the world's most unique facilities dedicated to the research and understanding of global scientific issues. Biosphere 2 serves as a laboratory for scientific studies, an arena for scientific discovery and discussion, and an valuable provider of public education. Its mission is to serve as a center for research, outreach, teaching and life-long learning about Earth, its living systems, and its place in the universe; to catalyze interdisciplinary thinking and understanding about Earth and its future; to be an adaptive tool for Earth education and outreach to industry, government, and the public; and to distil issues related to Earth systems planning and management for use by policymakers, students and the public. Tours are offered daily; see Biosphere 2's website for hours and more information.
Flandrau Science Center
Located on the UA campus, Flandrau Science Center explores our universe from earth to space and everything in-between, making science come alive for all ages. Changing exhibits through the year focus on biology, energy, optics, mathematics, and more, weaving in ground-breaking UA research and revealing a world of potential STEM careers for budding scientists. Flandrau Science Center also offers southern Arizona’s only fulldome planetarium theater, and their star projector can project more than 8,000 stars, recreating the visible objects of the night sky hour by hour. The UA College of Science also leads Science Discovery activities and a weekly, free, public astronomy program here. On the lower level, The UA Mineral Museum houses one of the top-five gem and mineral collections of the world. With a core collection dating back to 1892, the Mineral Museum now holds more than 26,000 specimens.
The HiRISE camera onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter is the most powerful camera of its kind ever sent to another planet and allows us to see Mars like never before. Do you want to see stunning, high resolution images from the Red Planet? If so, stop by the Sonett Space Sciences Building to visit HiRISE and look at some of the most stunning images of Mars that have ever been produced. We offer narrated video clips and slides as well as "Mars 101" talks for your groups. We can also schedule one-on-one talks by appointment to learn more about our camera, our mission, and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.
Richard F. Caris Mirror Lab
A tour of the Richard F. Caris Mirror Lab on the UA campus offers a unique opportunity to experience how UA innovations are producing the world’s largest telescope mirrors. This tour provides visitors with a behind the scenes look at the cutting-edge optical technology and the revolutionary spin-casting processes used to make telescope mirrors here. Recent and current projects include mirrors for the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) and the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT), as well as, the San Pedro Mátir Telescope. With their high levels of power and clarity, these new generation giant optical telescopes will be changing the way we explore the universe. Tours are available by appointment only.
UA Science Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter
Located just north of Tucson on the summit of Mt. Lemmon, this unique observatory builds upon its exceptional location and the extensive knowledge-base at the University of Arizona to deliver educational adventures including: the evening StarGazing public observing program, the Astronomer Nights, an exclusive, all night, extended access to our 32-inch Schulman telescope to observe the universe with an astronomer/guide like a professional astronomer, and various special events/workshops for the public nearly every month. Private reservations are possible upon request. All programs are available by ticket purchase on our website.
Laboratory of Tree Ring Research
The Tree Ring Lab literally wrote the book on dendrochronology — the dating and study of annual growth rings in trees. This scientific discipline was formalized here when the lab was established in 1937. Dendrochronology is very much an interdisciplinary science, with specific application in many different research areas. These include fire history and fire ecology, paleoclimatology, archaeology, biogeography, isotope geochemistry, paleoecology, biogeochemistry, geomorphology, numerical and statistical modeling, and even public health. Tours are available by appointment only.
A unique combination of ecology and culture, Tumamoc is an 870-acre ecological reservation in the heart of Tucson. Its innovative, sustained, long-term environmental and archaeological studies have made it a U.S. National Historical Landmark. Tumamoc Hill offers the greater Tucson community a powerful opportunity to engage local citizens in ecology, conservation of nature, archaeology and local cultural history. The gently sloped, paved road up Tumamoc Hill gives the public one of the finest walks in the Tucson area. It rises over 700 feet from the beginning of the trail to the summit. Open to the public during daytime hours EXCEPT between 7:30 AM and 5:30 PM weekdays. Tours of laboratory facilities are available by appointment only.
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