Center for Research and Education in Special Environments

hyperbaric chamber.

Exploring the interaction of exercise and extreme environments to study basic and translational science relevant to human performance and survival.

CRESE Investigators

CRESE Areas of Focus

Performance in Extreme Environments

Although much is known about human physiology and exercise science, strikingly little is known about how to train public safety and military personnel to perform better on job specific tasks in hostile environments or while working in protective gear.

Prehospital and Battlefield Medicine


Military and commercial divers and special warfare personnel from every branch of the armed services face unique physical challenges when operating in the underwater environment. This research mainstay from CRESE will be continued and expanded by examining new areas of undersea medicine.

Engineering Interests

Davis Hall, UB North Campus.

CRESE has an extensive history of collaboration with the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. A notable collaboration was the creation of a diver thermal protection system that included development of novel battery technology. This system is the progenitor of nearly every commercially available system used in military, commercial and recreational diving.

A method for studying the effect of surface coatings on hydrodynamic drag was developed by Mark Ricotta and Robert Baier at the Industry/University Center for Biosurfaces. CRESE collaboration was essential to validate the technique and develop initial surfaces to reduce drag on ship hulls and props. Follow up studies are currently being proposed by Baier to the U.S. Navy and the Keck Foundation to develop more durable coatings that will improve shipping in ice laden arctic waters.

These collaborations will continue and CRESE resources will be available to colleagues to test new technologies for use in extreme environments.

CRESE Labs and Resources

Immersion Tank

Immersion Tank.

The immersion tank, located in 29 Sherman Hall, is a small, deep immersion tank is assigned to the Department of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences. This facility has recently been refurbished using funds from the NAVSEA grant “Role of hydration status on performance in Navy divers”.

Environmental Chamber

Environmental Chamber.

The environmental chamber, located in 18 Sherman Annex, is an environmental chamber capable of creating extreme cold and hot temperatures with a range of relative humidity control from 2-98%. The chillers and humidifiers have been refurbished by University Facilities and the chamber is in good working order.

Hyper/Hypobaric Chamber

Hyper/Hypobaric Chamber.

The hyper/hypobaric chamber, located in 4 Sherman Annex, is a unique chamber designed to study both altitude and depth. This chamber was deigned to simulate depths down to 5600 feet of seawater and up to 120,000 feet of altitude. A Defense University Research Infrastructure Program (DURIP) grant has been awarded to the Department of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences for a full refurbishment.  

Human Integrative Physiology Lab

Hyper/Hypobaric Chamber.

The Human Integrative Physiology Laboratory is located in 17 Farber Hall. The lab is fully equipped to study reflex control of the circulation and ventilation in human volunteers. Researchers use an assortment of measurement techniques to gain insights on how the body responds to a variety of experimental stressors. 

Thermal Physiology Lab

Hyper/Hypobaric Chamber.

The Thermal Physiology Laboratory, located in 21 Farber Hall, is a facility well equipped to study all aspects of how the human body copes with the thermal environment. The lab houses a unique dual environmental chamber, ‘Shuttle Box’, set up that permits quantitative assessment of thermoregulatory behavior in humans.