Southeast Biology Greenhouses Finding New Life

The Biology Greenhouses at Southeast Missouri State University have recently received a major facelift, undergoing extensive renovation and modernization upgrades by student volunteers and workers under the guidance of Dr. Jenn Weber.

With the support of the Department of Biology, the College of Science, Technology and Agriculture, the Office of the Provost, and the Student Government Association, Weber, assistant professor of biology, and her team, have been working since spring 2016 to restore the Research Greenhouse and Plant Diversity Greenhouse and cultivate new foliage and flora.

Located behind Magill Hall, the Biology Greenhouses provide Southeast students and faculty opportunities for valuable, hands-on experiential learning for a variety of disciplines, including plant biology, ecology and evolution, genetics, habitat management, wildlife and biology conservation, and many more. Aging infrastructure led to the decline of both the Diversity Greenhouse and the Research Greenhouse, the latter of which was built in 1978. With the latest renovations, both facilities will be restored for their original intent.

The Plant Diversity Greenhouse currently contains vegetation from three different climates. The wide range of diverse plants provide teaching and outreach opportunities. As repairs continue, the plant collection will expand so that additional diverse species can be introduced and thrive.

The Research Greenhouse will one day allow faculty and students to house specific experimental plants for coursework and professional research. As repairs continue, students and faculty will be able to conduct research projects in a controlled environment.

The work done by Weber and her students is expected to have a profound impact on the educational and professional development of University students and faculty for many generations to come.