John Adams

BS, Wildlife and Fishery Science, University of Arizona, 1995
Title & Affiliation: 
Deputy Director, Biosphere 2, University of Arizona

For two decades, John Adams has helped drive the evolution of Biosphere 2 through positions of progressive responsibility and oversight. Starting in 1995, after receiving his BS in Wildlife and Fishery Science at the University of Arizona and working on various biology research initiatives in Southern Arizona, Adams became Senior Research Specialist at Biosphere 2, leading the terrestrial research initiatives exploring the effect of elevated CO2 on the complex mesocosms of Biosphere 2. These experiments ultimately produced six co-authored papers (see below). Building on his deep knowledge of the facility and its science, Adams became Biosphere 2's Media Coordinator and Public Spokesperson at Columbia University in 1999, fielding B2 inquiries from around the world, building public understanding of the University's groundbreaking earth systems science research and developing its K-12 education programs (Passport to Learning™). At the same time, Adams assumed leadership for B2's exhibits and public outreach staff of 80. After a year in the private industry biotech sector overseeing R&D as well as aspects of sales, marketing, engineering and design for an innovative water treatment technology, Adams' returned to B2 in 2004, bringing his unique institutional knowledge of the facility to bear as a critical member of the B2 transition team. Adams' experience and vision filled critical roles throughout that period in the positions of Facilities Manager, Health & Safety Supervisor, Public Outreach Coordinator and Biological systems manager, culminating in his being named Assistant Director of Planning and Facilities, a mantle he held for seven years. In 2014, Adams advanced to his current leadership role of Biosphere 2 Deputy Director. In part, the promotion marked a return to his roots, engaging as a key member of the team that plans and directs all research and related activities inside Biosphere 2 and the surrounding campus. Beyond research, however, as Deputy Director Adams also holds responsibility for planning and direction of site operations and Under the Glass activities, serving as B2's primary spokesperson and media contact, overseeing biome management, energy management and facilities maintenance and setting the vision for public outreach.



2018 (Published)

Controlled Experiments of Hillslope Coevolution at the Biosphere 2 Landscape Evolution Observatory: Toward Prediction of Coupled Hydrological, Biogeochemical, and Ecological Change . Volkmann Till H. M., Aditi Sengupta, Luke A. Pangle, Katerina Dontsova, Greg A. Barron-Gafford, Ciaran J. Harman, Guo-Yue Niu, Laura K. Meredith, Nate Abramson, Antonio A. Meira Neto, Yadi Wang, John R. Adams, David D. Breshears, Aaron Bugaj, Jon Chorover, Alejandro Cueva, Stephen B. DeLong, Matej Durcik, Ty P. A. Ferre, Edward A. Hunt, Travis E. Huxman, Minseok Kim, Raina M. Maier, Russell K. Monson, Jon D. Pelletier, Michael Pohlmann, Craig Rasmussen, Joaquin Ruiz, Scott R. Saleska, Marcel G. Schaap, Michael Sibayan, Markus Tuller, Joost L. M. van Haren, Xubin Zeng and Peter A. Troch (2018): in: Hydrology of Artificial and Controlled Experiments (eds. Jiu-Fu Liu and Wei-Zu Gu), IntechOpen, pp. 25-74.