US (IL): SIUE Greenhouse helps research and course content grow and flourish

The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Greenhouse is an educational resource that continuously supports the University’s value of excellence and its emphasis on high-quality learning within and beyond the classroom.

Positioned behind the Science West building, the SIUE Greenhouse is filled with plants being groomed for use as a supplement to core curriculum and for research activities.

“The main role of the SIUE Greenhouse is to support education,” said Jon Clark, laboratory manager for the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Biological Sciences. “We raise, germinate and house the plants used in all of our core classes that have a plant component. Giving students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience with these organisms is critical for some of our curriculums.”

The Greenhouse is largely used by the Department of Biological Sciences, but its use crosses into other disciplines such as environmental sciences and chemistry. Additionally, the space is open to all students to utilize for research projects, as space is available.

“It’s great to have this space for student research,” noted Toria Trost, a biological sciences master’s candidate and former graduate assistant in the Greenhouse. “We have many students who spend months working on their projects in the Greenhouse. It’s incredibly rewarding working out here.”

The Greenhouse features a variety of succulents, cacti, perennials, annuals and ferns, offering a lush supply of course content and decorative blooms that help beautify the Science West building.

“This summer, I’m charged with keeping the plants alive by fertilizing, watching for insects and watering,” explained Chris Featherstone, a biological sciences graduate student and teaching assistant. “These plants are examples of the different reproductive life cycles that we teach in our courses. The students actually getting to work with these examples helps them understand the concepts that we’re trying to teach.”

Along the exterior of the SIUE Greenhouse is a certified Monarch Waystation. The planting offers more than just a beautiful welcome to the educational resource. It features flowers that provide resources necessary for monarchs to produce successive generations and sustain their migration.

Source: Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

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