In 2011, I spent the summer at Biosphere 2 (B2) in Arizona, assisting Dr. Katerina Dontsova in the study of semiarid landscapes transitioning from shallow-rooted grasslands to mixed vegetation savannas composed of deeper-rooted shrubs. My experiment was part of the B2's Landscape Evolution Observatory (LEO). Visit the Biosphere 2 website at http://leo.b2science.org/ for more information on this amazing project. After my internship, I presented my research at American Geophysical Union conference in San Francisco, CA, Dec. 2011. Please check out my poster in the attachment below!
Biosphere 2 not only facilitates interaction across scientific fields, which was essential to my education, but allowed the precise manipulation of environmental variables in controlled experiments, a feat that can scarcely be done anywhere else on the planet. It was a rare delight to learn more about Earth systems science and dryland habitats with such control over environmental variables. My REU experience has granted me substantial preparation for my continued study of ecophysiology.