Leadership & Mission


To serve as a center for research, outreach, teaching and life-long learning about Earth, its living systems, and its place in the universe.

  • Catalyze interdisciplinary thinking and understanding about Earth and its future;
  • Be an adaptive tool for Earth education and outreach to industry, government, and the public;
  • Distill issues related to Earth systems planning and management for use by policymakers, students and the public.

Joaquin Ruiz

Joaquin Ruiz

Director, Biosphere 2
Vice President for Innovation, Dean of the College of Science, Thomas R. Brown Chair and Director of Biosphere 2, Professor of Geosciences, The University of Arizona

Joaquin Ruiz received his B.S. (1977) in Geology and Chemistry from the University of Miami and his M.S. (1980) and Ph.D. (1983) in Geology from the University of Michigan. He was Assistant Professor at the University of Miami from 1982 to 1983. In 1983, he joined the University of Arizona Geosciences Department as Assistant Professor and was promoted to Associate Professor in 1989 and Professor in 1993. He served as head of the Department of Geosciences from 1995 to 2000. He has been Dean of the College of Science since 2000, Executive Dean of the Colleges of Letters, Arts and Science from 2009-1018, and Vice President for Innovation since 2013. He is also the Thomas R. Brown Chair and Director of Biosphere 2. Dr. Ruiz served as President of the Geological Society of America (2010-2011). He is also a Fellow of the Society of Economic Geologists, and a member of the American Geophysical Union, the American Chemical Society, the Geochemical Society, and the National Research Council of the National Academies of Science. He is a member of the Mexican Academy of Sciences and was named a “National Researcher” by the Mexican government in 2010, when he was recognized for his outstanding scientific contributions and efforts to enhance Mexico's scientific and technological capacity through collaborations with the UA and research institutions in Mexico.  He has served as Secretary of the Volcanology Section of the American Geophysical Union, Councillor of the Geological Society of America, and as a National Science Foundation Panel Member for the Instrumentation and Facilities Program and the Centers for Excellence in Science and Technology Program. He has served as Associate Editor of the American Journal of Science, Geology, Revista, and Geofísica International of the Institute of Geology, UNAM. As a scientist with equal abilities in chemistry and in geology, Dr. Ruiz addresses many first-order problems in the Earth Sciences, such as the development of new isotope systems for studying ore deposits and the tectonic processes involved in the growth and evolution of Mexico. His research team addresses problems ranging from the origins of life to present-day climate change.

John Adams

John Adams

Deputy Director, Biosphere 2

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.

Peter Troch

Peter Troch

Science Director, Biosphere 2
Professor, Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences, The University of Arizona

Dr. Peter A. Troch is since November 2005 professor of surface water hydrology at the Department of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences of The University of Arizona. Prior to coming to Tucson, he was Chair of the Hydrology and Quantitative Water Management group of Wageningen University, the Netherlands. From 1996 to 1999 he was associate-professor at the Laboratory of Hydrology and Water Management (LHWM) of the University of Gent. He obtained a Ph.D. degree in Hydrology in 1993 at the same university. From January until August 1992 he was scientific researcher at the Water Resources Program of Princeton University. He was involved in several international airborne and spaceborne remote sensing experiments in hydrology. He organized international workshops on Catchment scale hydrological modeling and data assimilation (CAHMDA) in September 2001 (Wageningen) and October 2004 (Princeton). His current research involves seasonal, decadal and climate predictions of water availability in semi-arid river basins, as well as developing research infrastructure to investigate Critical Zone processes across climate gradients. He is member of the editorial board of Hydrological Processes, editor of special issues in Advances in Water Resources and Journal of Hydrometeorology, and was associate editor of Water Resources Research for 7 years. He has published over 100 papers in refereed international journals dealing with (flash) flood forecasting, catchment classification and similarity, land slide and debris flow modeling, remote sensing applications in hydrology and data assimilation, climate variability and climate change impacts on water availability, and the role of vegetation on hydrologic partitioning at catchment scales. He is the recipient of the 2011 John Dalton Medal, awarded by the European Geophysical Union for distinguished research in hydrology evaluated as an earth science.

Kevin Bonine

Director, Education and Outreach, Biosphere 2
Joint Faculty in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and the School of Natural Resources and the Environment, The University of Arizona

Kevin Bonine grew up in Tucson, graduating from TUSD’s University High School. He then attended the University of Arizona as a 1990 Flinn Scholar earning undergraduate degrees in both Economics (BA) and in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (BS with Honors). Kevin’s graduate degrees, both MS and PhD, are from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he focused on evolutionary physiology using lizards as a model system. His present research on reptiles and amphibians includes Gila monsters and canyon treefrogs, with emphasis on natural history, ecology, population genetics, and conservation. Kevin teaches many well-regarded UA courses, including introductory biology, herpetology, conservation biology, and vertebrate physiology. One of his newer courses is a collaboration with ASDM and Biosphere 2, titled Sonoran Desert Discovery, wherein UA students teach desert ecology to school children and the public. During the summer presession, Kevin teaches a popular three-week field course that explores the ecology and natural history of our region - from atop the Santa Catalina Mountains, through the Sonoran Desert, ending at the Desert Sea in the Northern Gulf of California in Mexico. In 2012 Kevin was recognized with the UA College of Science’s Distinguished Early-Career Teaching Award. Kevin is also Director of Outreach Initiatives in the College of Science at the University of Arizona and serves on the boards of directors of the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Friends of Saguaro National Park, and the Intercultural Center for the Study of Deserts and Oceans (CEDO) in Puerto Peñasco, Sonora.

Biosphere 2 Board of Advisors 2018

Carlos Arámburo

General Director for Academic Issues, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

Edward P. Bass

Chair and Chief Executive Officer, Fine Line, Inc.

Patrice Bourdelais

Emeritus Professor, EHESS (École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales)

Robert W. Christopherson

Geosystems author and Geography Professor Emeritus, American River College

Julia E. Cole

Professor, Earth, and Environmental Sciences, University of Michigan

Teresa de León Zamora

Director of Technology Commercialization, National Science and Technology Council, CONACYT, Mexico

William E. Dietrich

Professor, Earth and Planetary Science, University of California, Berkeley

Exequiel Ezcurra

Director, UCMexus and Professor, Ecology, University of California, Riverside

Ira Flatow

Host, Science Friday, Public Radio International

Ruth D. Gates

Researcher and Director, Hawai’i Institute of Marine Biology, University of Hawai’i at Manoa

James M. Gentile

Emeritus Dean of Science and Kenneth G. Herrick Professor of Biology, Hope College

James E. Geringer

Wyoming Governor 1995-2003 Director, Public Policy and Strategy, Environmental Systems Research Institute

Deborah E. Goldberg

Arthur F. Thurnau Professor and Margaret B. Davis Distinguished University Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Michigan

Mary M. Grier

Trustee, Agnese Nelms Haury Trust

Arthur L. Herbst

Joseph B. DeLee Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus,University of Chicago

Diana M. Liverman

Regents’ Professor of Geography and Development, University of Arizona

Constantino Macías

Director, Instituto de Ecología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

David Mackstaller

Chief Strategy Officer, Secretary and Treasurer Discern Science International, Inc.

John F. Mars

Mars, Inc.

Isabel P. Montañez

Professor of Geosciences and Chancellor’s Leadership Professor, University of California, Davis

Kirstin L. Neff

Manager, Southwest Rivers Program, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation

Henry N. Pollack, Chair 

Professor Emeritus, Geological Sciences, University of Michigan

Linda B. Robin

Community Member and Philanthropist

Sarah Brown Smallhouse

President, Thomas R. Brown Foundations

Moses Thompson

Tucson Unified School District/University of Arizona School Gardening Coordinator, University of Arizona Community and School Garden Program

Thierry Vandevelde

Executive Officer, Veolia Environnement Foundation

Daniel Warmack

Equity Holdings, Ltd, Real Estate and Investments

Bryan Willson

Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Colorado State University


John R. Adams

Deputy Director, Biosphere 2, University of Arizona

Ronald D. Carsten

Chair, UA College of Science Dean’s Board of Advisors

Cherry A. Murray

Director, Biosphere 2 Institute and former dean of the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University

Kimberly Ogden

Interim Vice President for Research, University of Arizona

Joaquin Ruiz

Thomas R. Brown Chair and Director of Biosphere 2, Vice President for Innovation and Strategy, Dean of the College of Science, University of Arizona

Peter A. Troch

Philecology Chair for Biospheric Research and Science Director, Biosphere 2, Professor of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Arizona