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, 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.
Come tour one of the world's most unique facilities dedicated to the research and understanding of global scientific issues. The Biosphere 2 facility serves as a laboratory for controlled scientific studies, an arena for scientific discovery and discussion, and a far-reaching 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 daily. See Biosphere 2 website for hours.
Website: Biosphere 2
Flandrau Science Center
This science center on the UA campus explores our universe from earth to space and everything in-between, bringing science alive for young and life-long learners alike. Changing exhibits through the year focus on biology, energy, optics and more, weaving in ground-breaking UA research and revealing the world of science careers for budding scientists. Flandrau Science Center also offers southern Arizona’s only planetarium theater. Flandrau Science Center's star projector can project more than 8,000 stars, perfectly 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. See Flandrau Science Center website for hours.
Website: Flandrau Science Center
A tour of the Steward Observatory 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.
Website: Mirror Lab
Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter
Located just north of Tucson on the summit of Mt. Lemmon, this unique science learning center builds upon its unique location and the extensive knowledge-base at the University of Arizona to deliver educational adventures including: the SkyNights public observing program, DiscoveryDays where the public can learn more about the scientific and natural wonders of Mt. Lemmon and the Catalina Mountains, and SkyCamps for teens and adults. Tours and programs are available by appointment only.
Website: Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter
The Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research 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.
Website: Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research
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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