Unique World-Class Research Facility
The Biodome offers a unique research opportunity in the overlap of a nature environment within an urban setting, which can be incorporated into daily life because of its close proximity. The visibility and draw of the iconic, landmark structure, plus internal activity spaces increase the utilization potential. The social, aesthetic, and information rich environment will positively affect the community in diverse ways. The benefits people are experiencing need to be understood and therefore lays a foundation for multiple research studies.
Tracking the Biodome
As an engagement center for human/nature interactions and nature facilitated human/human interactions, the Biodome needs to demonstrate its efficacy. This would validate its value versus its cost of deployment and maintenance. The data and measurements could be used to increase and refine impacts, reaching target audiences more strongly with information or motivation.
Demographic Quantification Studies
The preliminary research program would ascertain the Visitor Demographics and Community Utilization Profiles, to better understand the appeal and service population the Biodome engages in a particular community. The user age, gender, visit duration, repeat visits and other metrics could be characterized. Which activity features were most utilized or events were most popular could be examined in Community Utilization Profiles:
Signed out meeting spaces by an organization or individual
Event enthusiasm for weddings, concerts, plays, poetry readings, symposia, conferences, community forums, etc.
Classroom (K-12) field trips
Guided Green Technology Tours
Fruit Walks & Sense Hikes – experiential feedback
Demonstrations – active - ex. a composting demo, or – passive - plant and green infrastructure signage w/knowledge gains reviewed
Social Science Investigations
Testing knowledge transfer in the vertically integrated age groups uniquely present in the Biodome user population. An option is through the volunteer gardening teams. A youthful provocateur could be inserted into an older gardener team for:
Design A - talk about ‘youth’ issues or current events, then check for information transfer or position persuasion.
Design B - pose situation ‘problem’ query, for ‘elder’ solutions of unique creativity.
Determining Nature Connection Enhancement
Examining the intricacies of human/nature moments would be accessible in the living environment of the Biodome. Questions of what animals’ playfulness or visual availability grips and engages visitors? For exmple watching walking stick bugs moving, fish gliding in the pond, lizards darting across your foot or having a butterfly land on you?
Explore the visual impact of waterfalls and terrain contours, going up and over the 14’ waterfall, past the bubbling spring, and across the bridge over canyon to the overlook.
Query visitor’s extent of sensory awakening from the aromas, textures, tastes, and colorfulness of tree fruits, spicebushes, and floral arrangements in the Biodome? From which interactions were these other sense modalities most engaged?
Civic Engagement & Activism Initiation
Self initiated – Do display board announcements of local political or environmental events/issues lead to more attendees or any self-organization around the issue?
Assisted initiation – Can civic organization interactions be facilitated? Perhaps for example, arranging closer proximity for green groups signed up for meeting spaces Monday-Wednesday evenings, and thereby increasing intergroup bridging and alliances by their crossing paths?
Marketing and Technology Innovation Adoption Research
The futuristic green product emplacements, technology demonstrations, and product line comparisons on site, provide avenues for marketing and innovation adoption research.
The overall research program will strive to elucidate what engagements are most significant and provide the most lasting impact. Data will be examined to determine how to increase interactions, mental health benefits, social bonding, community building, and civic engagement. These research outcomes would be accompanied by education and knowledge dissemination of the green infrastructure included in the facility, and about the botanical and faunal collection, as well as all the happy community experiences and events.
If you would like to examine our collected data from the research findings on nature/ human interaction studies here is the link: Research Studies
Assessing Nature’s Emotional/Mental Health Value & Conscious Awareness Raising
Design questionnaire, displays, and lead group thought provoking & questioning experiences to challenge visitor/participants to reflect in the moment on their mood lift or solace enhancement after a quiet period in Biodome environment, doing “pond meditating”, “winding path walks” or “gazing from the bridge”. Can this be achieved and to what extent? Can this be expanded?