All posts by Jerry Kalman

BIOSPHERE 2: A LIVING LAB ON EARTH SCIENCES

BIOSPHERE 2:  A LIVING LAB ON EARTH SCIENCES NOW RUN BY THE UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA

Biosphere 2: a slice of llife in the Arizona desert north of Tucson
Biosphere 2: a slice of life in the Arizona desert north of Tucson

The Santa Catalina Mountains separate Tucson in Arizona from a burgeoning northern collection of bedroom communities springing up along Arizona 77 running north and east away from town.  Those suburbs stretch from close-in Oro Valley to the more remote Oracle, which backs up against those mountains and the Coronado National Forest.

The steel frame and glass main building houses five biomes and is open to the public year-round
The steel frame and glass main building houses five biomes and is open to the public year-round

Nestled within the Oracle area and just 45 minutes from Tucson and Interstate 10 is Biosphere 2, an Earth science systems project now owned and operated by the University of Arizona.  Tours, usually available daily throughout the year, run about 90 minutes and cost $18-20 per adult.

The ocean and a real reef with wave making machine is one biome early on the tour of Biosphere 2
The ocean and a real reef with wave making machine is one biome early on the tour of Biosphere 2

Savanna, Ocean with coral reef, Rain forest, Mangrove Wetlands and Desert: these five biome zones make up climate areas within the three-plus acre internal “environment” called Biosphere 2.  Following a brief movie in the amphitheater a guided tour touches the five biomes. but also allows access to the two huge mechanical “lungs” that regulate air pressure throughout the habitat.

The self-contained and closed-environment biomes range in size from the smallest, 450-square-foot mangrove wetlands “room” to the 1500-square-foot desert area at the opposite end of the main glass and steel-framed structure.  Overall, the structures comprise more than acres of buildings, tunnels and infrastructure

While on a tour, you’ll get a hair curling experience in the humid Rainforest before you to start to dry out in the Savanna.  The job gets completed in the Desert biome and then you’re off through airlocks into a windy tunnel that connects the main building with one of the two domes that house a giant diaphragm that regulates air pressure in Biosphere 2.

Two buildngs on the right and left of the main structure contain huge metal and rubber diaphragms that serve as pressure regulating lungs in Biosphere 2
Two buildings on the right and left of the main structure contain huge metal and rubber diaphragms that serve as pressure regulating lungs in Biosphere 2
Part of the slice of life in the desert is the energy complex for Biosphere 2
Part of the slice of life in the desert is the energy complex for Biosphere 2

The entire 40-acre Biosphere 2 grounds consist of a visitor’s center with overnight facilities for visiting students, café, curio shop and administrative offices; the four-story main habit facility; a Flintstone-esque apartment complex used by the resident scientists three decades ago; four energy buildings, and two domed structures containing the lungs; along with a network of roads, a soccer field and buffering Sonoran desert landscape.

The Flintstone-esque one-time apartment building and administration building  now serves as the nerve-center for visitors to the Biosphere 2 complex in Oracle, AZ
The Flintstone-esque one-time apartment building and administration building now serves as the nerve-center for visitors to the Biosphere 2 complex in Oracle, AZ

Those hanging round at the end of a tour can roam throughout the main habitat, visit an ocean display about the Sea of Cortez below the large tanks and check out the apartments where the scientists lived during the two different study periods when sealed inside Biosphere 2.  In the apartment area, there is also a special exhibit designed for lunar experiments.

Nestled in the top of the apartmnt complex is a lunar experiment lab where growing conditions for lunar habitats are conducted
Nestled in the top of the apartment complex is a lunar experiment lab where growing conditions for lunar habitats are conducted

Construction of the original set of buildings started in 1987 and reached completion four years later in 1991, costing almost $200 million .

Once Biosphere 2 went into operation, two separate teams of scientists moved into the habitat over a three-year period; but in both instances problems developed and the experiments that required isolated subsistence terminated before completion.

The transparent steel frame and glass skin of Biosphere 2 looks out over the Santa Catalina Mountains in southern Arizona
The transparent steel frame and glass skin of Biosphere 2 looks out over the Santa Catalina Mountains in southern Arizona

The projects were cancelled and in 1995 Columbia University (New York City) took over Biosphere 2, followed in 2011 of the acquisition of the facility by the current owner, the University of Arizona. The UofA conducts many experiments similar to those envisioned by creators of Biosphere 2 some of which are designed to explore the far-reaching effects of climate change on Earth.

A network of tunnels, piping and electrical conduits link the main structures of Biosphere 2 in the SOnoran desert near Oracle, AZ, most of which is open to the public
A network of tunnels, piping and electrical conduits link the main structures of Biosphere 2 in the SOnoran desert near Oracle, AZ, most of which is open to the public

Incidentally, when asked what Biosphere 1 was, the staff of researchers, docents and tour guides quickly answer: “It is the planet we call Earth.”

Share

Slices of Life In Napa Valley

California’s Napa Valley is home to many world class wineries and scenes that are among the finest of any wine growing region.  These slices of life are but a small sample of the photographic opportunities that await visitors to Napa and the communities that stretch north into the valley.

A romantic chateau, typical of many homes in the Napa Valley, overlooks a vineyard in the Napa Valley
A romantic chateau, typical of many homes in the Napa Valley, overlooks a vineyard in the Napa Valley
Rombauer Winery patio scene overlooking the Napa Valley
Rombauer Winery patio scene overlooking the Napa Valley
A slice of life as seen from the Napa Valley Wine train as it cruises through Napa Valley's wine growing region
A slice of life as seen from the Napa Valley Wine train as it cruises through Napa Valley’s wine growing region
Share

Slices of Life In Hawaii

Scenic shots in the Slice of Life series from Oahu, Maui and Hawaii.



A view of Waikiki looking south toward the iconic Diamonhead formation
A view of Waikiki looking south toward the iconic Diamonhead formation
A slice of Waikiki at sunset on the island of Oahu
A slice of Waikiki at sunset on the island of Oahu
Hard to get tired of watching Hawaiian sunsets, whether onshore or offshore
Hard to get tired of watching Hawaiian sunsets, whether onshore or offshore
Battleship Row, Pearl Harbor, and the USS Arisona National Monument and markers for other ships lined up near he on Dec. 7, 1941r
Battleship Row, Pearl Harbor, and the USS Arisona National Monument and markers for other ships lined up near he on Dec. 7, 1941r
Done for the day: a fisherman hangs up off the coast of Maui, Hawaii, in this slice of life picture by Jerry Kalman
Done for the day: a fisherman hangs up off the coast of Maui, Hawaii, in this slice of life picture by Jerry Kalman
An iconic sunset of a saiboatas it passes between Molokai and Lanai off the Kaanapali cost of Maui
An iconic sunset of a saiboatas it passes between Molokai and Lanai off the Kaanapali cost of Maui

 

Windsurfers off the coast of Maui at Hookipa near Paia and the start of the famed Hana Road, another slice of life photo by Jerry Kalma
Windsurfers off the coast of Maui at Hookipa near Paia and the start of the famed Hana Road, another slice of life photo by Jerry Kalman
Hookipa Beach in Paia, Maui, Hawaii is famous for its waves and windsurfing conditions as captured in this slice of life photo by Jerry Kalman
Hookipa Beach in Paia, Maui, Hawaii is famous for its waves and windsurfing conditions as captured in this slice of life photo by Jerry Kalman
Another view of windsurfers at Paia's Hookipa Beach in Maui, Hawaii, a slice of life photo by Jerry Kalman
Another view of windsurfers at Paia’s Hookipa Beach in Maui, Hawaii, a slice of life photo by Jerry Kalman
This looks like the road to Armageddon, however, it is a strange view of a road through the lava at Volcano National Park on the Big Island of Hawaii, another slice of life photo by Jerry Kalman
This looks like the road to Armageddon, however, it is a strange view of a road through the lava at Volcano National Park on the Big Island of Hawaii, another slice of life photo by Jerry Kalman
Steam rises from a vent near the active volcano Kilauea on the Big Island of Hawaii in Volcano National Park, a slice of life photo by Jerry Kalman
Steam rises from a vent near the active volcano Kilauea on the Big Island of Hawaii in Volcano National Park, a slice of life photo by Jerry Kalman
Not all of the Big Island of Hawaii is a volcano, as this overlook photo shows of the Waipio Valley
Not all of the Big Island of Hawaii is a volcano, as this overlook photo shows of the Waipio Valley
Share

Slices of Life Along China’s Li River

Slides of Life Along the Li River near Guilin, China, a photo essay by Jerry Kalman
Slides of Life Along the Li River near Guilin, China, a photo essay by Jerry Kalman
2
Rush hour on the Li River as riverboats depart with visitors traveling along the river
1
Riverboats are massed along the quay as visitors board for their trip on the Li River
3
The Li River flows through the Li River Scenic Area, a beautiful stretch of river, gorges and beach=side scenes
4
Massive formations thrust themselves up from the river valley along the Li River
5
Most trips along the Li River depart from docks near Guilin in southeastern China
6
Scenic trips take anywhere from a couple of hours to day-long trips for those on the larger riverboats
7
Along the way on the Li River, many boats stop for scenic visits to local landmarks
9
Some tie-ups along the Li River are crowded, as one might expect
10
Other spots are less frequented by travelers along the Li River
11
Some visits are brief and others are places where tourists are picked up after shorter trips on the Li River
12
Picturesque villages are plentiful along the Li River
13
River commerce thrives along the Li River as some merchants board riverboats to sell their wares
14
Traffic flows both ways along the Li River
15
Some boats seem rarely used on the Li River
16
Others are lived aboard by villagers along the Li River
17
Most, however, are engaged in river commerce along the Li River
18
River trippers along the Li River also use smaller boats for a more intimate experience with the river and its surroundings
19
Fishing is ever-present along the Li River
20
Some fishermen along the Li River use cormorants to pull fish out of the water
21
Others fish along the Li River in the traditional way with hook and line
22
Some boats pull off near family farms along the Li River
23
This fisherman appears finished after a an early stint on the Li River
24
There are many places to tie off a boat along the Li River
25
It might be a residence on the Li River
26
Hikers along the banks of the Li River often greet river trippers
27
Other hikers ignore the river boats on the Li River
28
Livestock graze along the Li River
29
Cattle seem to give each other room to roam along the banks of the Li River
30
Around every bend in the Li River through the scenic area the eys land on beautiful vistas

 

Share

North San Diego County

Jerry Kalman, photographer, from Fallbrook, California
Jerry Kalman, photographer, from Fallbrook, California
Sayonara Supermoon aas it "leaves" Fallbrook the morning of Nov 14
Sayonara Supermoon as it “leaves” Fallbrook the morning of Nov 14
March 7 Fallbrook sunset before it fades from memory
March 7 Fallbrook sunset before it fades from memory
Sunset in Fallbrook July 7
Sunset in Fallbrook July 7
Island Hopper. An egret sits on a manmade island in the North Pond at Los Jilgueros Preserve, a key part of the Fallbrook Land Conservancy in Fallbrook
Island Hopper. An egret sits on a manmade island in the North Pond at Los Jilgueros Preserve, a key part of the Fallbrook Land Conservancy in Fallbrook
On a bright sunny day, Los Jilgueros Preserve in Fallbrook is a visual delight with flowers blooming, ducks swimming and the pond finally at a normal level.
On a bright sunny day, Los Jilgueros Preserve in Fallbrook is a visual delight with flowers blooming, ducks swimming and the pond finally at a normal level.

Fourth of July 2015 in Fallbrook, Calif., in the skies above Grand Tradition
Fourth of July 2015 in Fallbrook, Calif., in the skies above Grand Tradition

CompositeFourth

In this section of my website, I show various views of the wonderful scenery and communities in the San Diego area.  The images here are ever changing, just as the surrounding area evolves.

Water flower 9023radial blur bw bg for fb Volcanic View 9037for FB Succulent with dark bw bg9013p7for FB Color riot8989for FB

Scores of succulents are on display at a nursery in Bonsall, CA called Waterwise, which specializes in succulents, cactus, etc.
Scores of succulents are on display at a nursery in Bonsall, CA called Waterwise, which specializes in succulents, cactus, etc.
"Fallbrook Eden," a whimsical look at the iconic avocado, a photo on display during Fallbrook's annual Avocado Festival. The photo is on display at Brandon Gallery
“Fallbrook Eden,” a whimsical look at the iconic avocado, a photo on display during Fallbrook’s annual Avocado Festival. The photo is on display at Brandon Gallery
After a March storm, a rainbow graces the rural landscape of Fallbrook, Calif., and its numerous avocado groves
After a March storm, a rainbow graces the rural landscape of Fallbrook, Calif., and its numerous avocado groves
Duet at Grand Tradition during the 2016 Jazz and Wine Festival
See at the Grand Tradition during the 2016 Jazz and Wine Festival

Marie Antoinette 0009 for Smedia Mindi Abair p6 0182 for Smedia Solar plus Posterized 0139 for Smedia

Share

Western National Parks

Congress created Grand Canyon National Park during the Wilson Administration and it, along with scores of others in the Western United States, are cornerstones of our national heritage.  Here are scenes from Yosemite, Zion and many other National Parks in the western states.

Black and White view of Bridalveil Falls in Yosemite National Park
Black and White view of Bridalveil Falls in Yosemite National Park
Slice from Tunnel View
Slice view of Yosemite National Park from Tunnel View showing a bird in flight near El Capitan with Half Dome and Yosemite Falls
The Virgin River in Zion National Par
The Virgin River in Zion National Par
A stormy day with infrequent rain hovers over Capital Reef National Park
A stormy day with infrequent rain hovers over Capital Reef National Park
Park Avenue, a stop near the entrance to Arches National Park in southern Utah
Park Avenue, a stop near the entrance to Arches National Park in southern Utah
Park Avenue, a stop near the entrance to Arches National Park in southern Utah
Park Avenue, a stop near the entrance to Arches National Park in southern Utah
Another icon in Arches National Park is the famous Double Arch
Another icon in Arches National Park is the famous Double Arch
A tricked out view of the same shot, Another icon in Arches National Park is the famous Double Arch
A tricked out view of the same shot, Another icon in Arches National Park is the famous Double Arch
ANother iconic view in Arches National Park, the famous North Window, given scale by a young man and his son
ANother iconic view in Arches National Park, the famous North Window, given scale by a young man and his son
Bryce Canyon, whether in full sun or shrouded by mist, is an awesome sight in southern Utah
Bryce Canyon, whether in full sun or shrouded by mist, is an awesome sight in southern Utah
This snag seems like a dancing hag in Canyonlands National Park
This snag seems like a dancing hag in Canyonlands National Park

 

Striation patterns on snow-covered mountains in Alaska's Glacier Bay National Park
Striation patterns on snow-covered mountains in Alaska’s Glacier Bay National Park

 

Wupatki, an ancient Native American dwelling site, is not far from the south entrance to the Grand Canyon
Wupatki, an ancient Native American dwelling site, is not far from the south entrance to the Grand Canyon

 

The travertine terraces near the northern entrance to Yellowstone National Park have captured long dead trees to create a surreal landscape
The travertine terraces near the northern entrance to Yellowstone National Park have captured long dead trees to create a surreal landscape

 

Giant saguaro cactus forms a dramatic exclamation point in the Saguaro National Monument in Tucson, Ariz.
Giant saguaro cactus forms a dramatic exclamation point in the Saguaro National Monument in Tucson, Ariz.

 

A rider in Canyon de Chelly on the Navajo Indian Reservation in northeast Arizona rides home along the canyon bottom
A rider in Canyon de Chelly on the Navajo Indian Reservation in northeast Arizona rides home along the canyon bottom

 

Monument Valley in southeastern Utah has dramatic views of mesas and other formations
Monument Valley in southeastern Utah has dramatic views of mesas and other formations

 

Share

Photos along Three of Central Europe’s Major Rivers

Chessroom in the Marksburg Castle at Braubach, Germany, and the beginning of the famed Rhine Valley, home to scores of ancient castles
Chessroom in the Marksburg Castle at Braubach, Germany, and the beginning of the famed Rhine Valley, home to scores of ancient castles

Three major rivers serve central European cities from Amsterdam on the North Sea to Budapest.  They are the Rhine, the Main and the Danube, and the images here are from selected places along the routes these three rivers course through Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary.

Cologne Cathedral Stained Glass
Cologne’s main cathedral has some of the most exquisite stained glass in Europe

 

windmill, Knderdjik, Netherlands UNESCO
Wooden shoes are lined up outside an ancient windmill at the UNESCO World Heritage site, Kinderdjik, Netherlands

 

Morning along the Danube often turns the river and villages into pastel tableaus
Morning along the Danube often turns the river and villages into pastel tableaus

 

Church goers at Stephan's Church in Vienna, Austria, one of the loveliest cities along the Danube
Church goers at Stephan’s Church in Vienna, Austria, one of the loveliest cities along the Danube

 

Geometric shapes  on a building just off the main square in Bratislava, Slovakia, a capital along the Danube
Geometric shapes on a building just off the main square in Bratislava, Slovakia, a capital along the Danube

 

Two lovers embrace on the steps behind the Albertina Museum in Vienna, Austria, a major city on the Danube River
Two lovers embrace on the steps behind the Albertina Museum in Vienna, Austria, a major city on the Danube River

 

Share