Mark NelsonDr. Mark Nelson has worked for several decades in closed ecological system research, ecological engineering, the restoration of damaged ecosystems, desert agriculture and orchardry and wastewater recycling. He is Chairman and CEO of the Institute of Ecotechnics, a U.K. non-profit organization, which consults to several demonstration projects working in challenging biomes around the world; Vice Chairman of Global Ecotechnics Corp. and consults on wastewater reuse and recycling using Wastewater Gardens, subsurface flow constructed wetlands. He served as Director of Space and Environmental Applications for Space Biospheres Ventures, which created and operated “Biosphere 2”, the 3.15 acre materially closed facility near Tucson, Arizona, the world’s first laboratory for global ecology. Dr. Nelson was a member of the eight person “biospherian” crew for the first two year closure experiment, 1991-1993.

Publications include co-authoring “Life Under Glass” and “Space Biospheres”, editing “Biological Life Support Technologies: Commercial Opportunities” and numerous chapters in books on space life support systems. His research papers include ones on ecological hierarchy, wastewater recycling through the use of constructed wetlands, and applications of closed ecological systems. His newest book is “The Wastewater Gardener”.

Mark speaks with Joanna about: “Biosphere 2”, a laboratory of global ecology; ancient recycling wisdom: “nightsoil”; the ecological toxicity of centralized sewage systems; multiple benefits of “wastewater gardens”; sustainability: coming back to ancient wisdom and moving forward.