Five University of Notre Dame junior science majors are among 49 undergraduates from 25 colleges and universities attending the Earth Semester class this fall at Columbia University’s Biosphere Center in Arizona.p. The Notre Dame participants are: Trevor Smith, an environmental science major from Pensacola, Fla.; Patricia Elias, an environmental science major from McLean, Va.; Christopher German, a biology major from Pittsburgh; Virginia Kelly, an environmental science major from Asheville, N.C.; and Ryan Suarez, an environmental science major from Los Angeles.p. Located north of Tucson in Oracle, Ariz., the Biosphere 2 Center is Columbia University’s 250-acre campus devoted to deepening the understanding of earth systems vital to the policies and decisions that will affect the future of the planet. The Biosphere 2 laboratory is the world’s largest controlled facility for plant growth and integrated study of earth systems science.p. Students in the Earth Semester spend the 16-week program exploring the unique laboratory of Biosphere 2 and the surrounding Sonoran desert and examining global issues such as greenhouse warming and land-use change.p.