Many students think of campus as a place to sit at a desk and listen to a lecture. In the Life Sciences Greenhouse, however, students and professors get their hands dirty learning about plants and systems.

Students from all different majors can take classes in the greenhouse. Art, plant, and wildlife science majors and engineering majors take classes on interior plants and landscapes, plant propagation, or a variety of other plant-related subjects.

Senior Bailee Svenson is currently enrolled in Interior Plants and Landscapes. The class teaches how to care for indoor plants, create Bonsai tree masterpieces, and plan plant installations. Svenson said she enjoys being able to get in the dirt during her plants class.

“I just think there’s something really good about working with the plants and seeing them and kind of understanding how things go,” Svenson said.

Sevenson’s professor, Wendy Vawdrey, began working in the greenhouse during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Students were able to attend class in person in the greenhouse during that time because of the course topics.

“Some of them, I’m not kidding, would start crying because they were actually in sunshine and they were working with plants and they had some camaraderie here,” Vawdrey said.

According to Vawdrey, working with plants in the greenhouse is good for the soul and is the reason the Plant and Wildlife Science Department is thriving.