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Green studies in the greenhouse

by George Boria - Copy Editor
Tue, Feb 7th 2017 11:10 pm
Tara Kiah/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER 
THERE'S A PURPOSE The greenhouse attached to Lennon Hall has remained fairly inconspicuous.  As it turns out, the greenhouse serves a practical purpose for the environmental science department as a way for students to carry out experiments for research.
Tara Kiah/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER THERE'S A PURPOSE The greenhouse attached to Lennon Hall has remained fairly inconspicuous. As it turns out, the greenhouse serves a practical purpose for the environmental science department as a way for students to carry out experiments for research.

 Many students at The College at Brockport are aware of the greenhouse's presence along the side of Lennon Hall. Most people, however, are unaware of what actually goes on inside of it. Are herbs grown for the dining halls? Who grows the plants and why? According to Chair of the Environmental Science Department, Dr. Christopher Norment, the greenhouse is maintained by professor Dr. Kathryn Amatangelo and her students for ecological and botanical studies. 

"The greenhouse is used primarily for student research projects at both the undergraduate and graduate level," Dr. Amatangelo said. "Some examples include seed bank studies to see what plant species grow from natural soil samples, propagating plants for planting in outdoor field experiments, and growing plants in various combinations and under differing conditions - temperature, light, nutrients - to see how fast they grow and when they reproduce. It also has been used for growing plants for teaching purposes." 

The greenhouse prepares students for efficient farming and agricultural projects, fostering a healthy environment for plants and soil on campus.

"It has a few succulents used in Plant Diversity (ENV 400/500) such as aloe and euphorbias," Dr. Amatangelo said, when asked if there were any interesting species alien to the environment.

For those who are unaware, aloe and euphorbias are native to hotter, drier environments. The succulent nature of the plants is a biological adaptation to the desert climate, intended to help the plants maintain their water supply during the drier seasons. If they did not develop their succulent nature the plants would die in the arid environment. 

The greenhouse hosts multiple departments for teaching and research facilities.


gbori1@u.brockport.edu