Rick Neter is currently the UA Biosphere 2 Director of Marketing Communications, having joined the world research center over 30 years ago. An alumnus of the University of Arizona, Rick earned a B.S. in Business (86) and an Arizona real estate license (86) with Merrill Lynch Realty. Growing up in Boulder, Colorado Rick had and early interest in business, the environment, climate, and land use. Rick’s professionals experience in business, marketing and commercial real estate development began as part of the teams for Tucson National Resort, Merrill Lynch Realty, International Conference Resorts, and the Phoenician Resort.
In 1990 Rick was presented with an opportunity that he knew was a generational one, Biosphere 2. Designed to learn more about the colonization of space along with innovating new models for living in balance with Earth’s natural systems, Biosphere 2 is a technological wonder. An amazing replication of Earth. Now Biosphere 2’s research experiments look at how future climates will impact food, water, energy, and health. Rick joined the project while under construction and help coordinate the grand opening of Biosphere 2 which became a cultural watershed moment with 50 million TV viewers from all over the world watching the start of the $200 million experiment. During Biosphere 2’s first year’s, paid admission visitation grew to #225k with $30 million annual operating budgets. By1994 Rick was managing over 250 employees and 10 departments. Over the years, throughout Biosphere 2’s growth, Rick has held a multitude of Director, GM, and VP positions along with ongoing land development master planning activities on the extensive private property holdings. He has diverse experience in commerce, branding, marketing, public relations & communications, finance, land development & entitlements, executive management, legal, budgeting, organizational mergers, operations and construction.
Rick’s Biosphere 2 career has spanned numerous owners and operators that have included Space Biosphere Ventures, CDO Development and Columbia University. The past 15 years have been with the University of Arizona who owns and operates the Biosphere 2 research center. Rick’s efforts have included creative marketing - communication strategies, brand innovation and identifying tourism-demographic trends which have been instrumental in Biosphere 2’s growth and value creation. Through worldwide brand exposure and ongoing market growth Biosphere 2 has been visited by over 4 million visitors with $100 million plus in earned revenue since inception. The Biosphere 2 project has become one of the best known and highly valuable public-private master planned research centers and smart living developments in the world. Additionally, Rick is involved in Arizona economic development, commercial real estate, tourism councils, enterprise startups and serves on 2 local boards. He lives in Tucson with his wife, where they raised there two grown children