The Aquaterrium Project
The Aquaterrium project is a proposal to build a conservatory style, pond filled, enclosed ecosystem that can be kept active and thriving even in the winter months. The goal is to provide a comprehensive learning experience for students that often gets lost due to New York’s long winters and lack of accessible and local natural systems. By having an enclosed pond and forest system students will have access to a living, breathing ecosystem ready for their exploration and study.
The greenhouse like structure will include ponds, streams, tropical and temperate plant areas and more. Vegetative filter systems and aquaponics will demonstrate the chemical and biological systems that keep our natural world functioning. They provide easy to understand examples of how imbalances in systems can cascade through an ecosystems and how we as a society can help to prevent these imbalances from occurring.
In addition to the opportunity to sample and study water chemistry, biological diversity and balanced ecosystems from the surface students will be able to enter an underwater observation dome that will allow them to directly observe the various fish, amphibians, and invertebrates that keep the system healthy and thriving even in the winter. With the help of underwater cameras, robotic rovers and the observation dome the Aquaterrium should provide a captivating and interactive experience unlike anything the capital district has to offer right now.
Other learning opportunities in solar power,passive and active solar heating, biological processing of grey and black water systems, hydroponics and aquaponics should make the Aquaterrium a multifaceted educational opportunity for thousands of students from grade school to any of the 15 local colleges and universities. The space will be open for experiments proposed by anyone looking to use our lab space, biological field preserve, or the Aquaterrium itself for educational purposes. Whether it is to explore the enclosed living pond with robotic rovers,or to contrast the diversity of an isolated system with the stream and pond systems out on the Bio-reserve itself or to build and test new filtration systems and aquaponics for commercial use the Aquaterrium and its adjoined laboratory space will be a vital asset to teach students a real appreciation for the natural systems around us that are responsible for the balanced world we benefit from and need every single day. It will provide a creative space for teachers trying to open the eyes of young students to the beauty and vitalness of the small and microscopic worlds around us that are so easy to miss through the use of the Bio-reserve’s powerful and diverse microscope systems.And lastly it will be a unique and inspiring example to schools and the other educational facilities around the country; an example of what a diverse and experienced education can do for a community and its people.
The Aquaterrium will be an education beacon in our community and an irreplaceably unique experience that with touch and affect the students that learn there for years. This is a real passion project for the team here at the Bio-reserve and nothing inspires and educates better like real interest, passion and excitement.