Terrascope 2024


The Everyday



What is Biodiversity?

Biodiversity is the heterogeneity of all Earth’s life forms: plants, animals, fungi, and microorganisms.  There are significant links between biodiversity and ecosystem stability, as it fosters resilience necessary to withstand natural disaster, habitat destruction, human development, and climate change.

As humans continue to exploit the planet’s resources, biodiversity suffers. According to the World Wildlife Fund’s 2018 Living Planet Report, there has been an average decline of 60% in the global species populations of mammals, fish, birds, reptiles, and amphibians since 1970.  The preservation of biodiversity on Earth is not only beneficial to wildlife but also to humans.  Maintaining biodiversity increases the availability and stability of food, clean water, medicine, and shelter.  

Read more . . .

Overview: Solving the Biodiversity Crisis

Terrascope 2024 investigated many possible solutions to the current biodiversity crisis, but ultimately decided to focus on mitigating the effects of urbanization.

Click (or tap) the cityscape or bubbles to learn more about other ways to address biodiversity decline.

Biodiversity Education Fisheries and Ocean Transition Anthropogenic Species Preservation Regenerative Agriculture Climate Change Transition Land and Forests Transition Sustainable Food Transition Sustainable Freshwater Transition Our Solution

Biodiversity Education

Educating the public on the importance of biodiversity conservation efforts, which in turn will shift the general population’s attitudes and actions toward environmental protection

Fisheries and Ocean Transition

Transforming the way we engage with our oceans through the promotion of responsible fishing, reduce ocean debris, abate ocean acidification, and mitigate unsustainable marine resource extraction

Anthropogenic Species Preservation

Human intervention in natural ecosystems to preserve inter-species diversity through breeding animals in captivity and archiving plant species in order to reintroduce them back into their natural habitats

Regenerative Agriculture

Farming and grazing practices that focus on increasing soil health, biodiversity, climate resilience and biosequestration (removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere)

Climate Change Transition

Advancing energy efficiency and reducing high greenhouse gas-emitting practices in order to curtail the negative effects of climate change on biodiversity insofar as large scale ecological disruption

Land and Forests Transition

Reducing deforestation by limiting agricultural expansion, regulating the production of land-intensive products––such as beef, soy and palm oil––and actively restoring forest lands

Sustainable Food Transition

Transitioning society away from resource intensive food sources with large ecological footprints over to more sustainable food production and consumption practices such as reducing meat-consumption as well as eliminating food waste

Sustainable Freshwater Transition

Fundamentally shifting global freshwater resource management strategies toward limiting extraction of water from natural systems; utilizing new methods of treating water; monitoring pollutants; and increasing overall efficiency of freshwater use practices that greatly protect species of animals and plants that depend on these precious resources

Terrascope 2024 investigated many possible solutions to the current biodiversity crisis, but ultimately decided to focus on mitigating the effects of urbanization.

Click (or tap) the cityscape or bubbles to learn more about other ways to address biodiversity decline.


Impact of Urban Spaces

Terrascope 2024 brought students together from cities all over the world with a shared passion for bolstering the bastion of biodiversity in the US. Wanting to make a tangible impact in their own communities, the students developed a personal connection with addressing the impact of urban spaces on biodiversity. Although all the solutions above are relevant to the biodiversity crisis, members of Terrascope 2024 wanted to investigate areas with the most overbearing human effect on biodiversity. Keeping in mind that urban spaces have the highest population density, Terrascope 2024 proposed solutions that can be implemented in cities. Finally, none of the students have yet fully experienced MIT’s campus in Cambridge. They felt that researching solutions that can be applied to Boston could familiarize them with the city in which they would soon reside.

Solution Areas

Urban Sprawl

Examining how wildlife corridors and natural parks can reduce the ecological disruption caused by urban and suburban sprawl and promote biodiversity among city-dwelling fauna

Adaptive Landscaping

Demonstrating how devalued landscapes, such as abandoned buildings and brownfields existing in pockets throughout a city, can be transformed to create a cumulative positive impact on biodiversity within city limits

Alternative Agriculture

Exploring how conventional farms can use hydroponics, aquaponics, and aeroponics to reduce land and water consumption, lessening the impact of the growing domestic food demand on rural biodiversity

What is Terrascope 2024?

Terrascope is a learning community for first-year students at MIT to solve complex, real-world problems.

Learn more about Terrascope here.