Greenhouse Provides Space for Botanical Investigations

January 18, 2018
Hillary Hempstead
Interior of Oberlin's greehouse located in the Science Center
A student examines plants during a recent greenhouse open house. Photo credit: Yevhen Gulenko

It may be cold outside, but it’s balmy on the roof of the Science Center.

There, a 2,581-square-foot greenhouse provides space for botanical investigations by students and faculty. The facility includes a planting room and three separate growing bays with individual light and temperature controls.

Approximately 700 plants fill the greenhouse, representing some 75 different plant families, says greenhouse manager Judy Laushman. Plants from the greenhouse are used for instruction in science classrooms and laboratories.

During fall semester, students in Professor of Biology Marta Laskowski’s Organismal Biology class employed greenhouse flora to study various plant adaptations. Through the use of these plants, students “demonstrated what they learned about plant physiology by explaining what adaptation the plant displayed and how they expected that adaptation to promote success in a particular environment,” says Laskowski.

While the greenhouse is not regularly open to the public, Laushman holds open houses at various times during the academic year. This spring, the greenhouse manager also plans to carry out a campus plant sale.

 

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