Facts and Figures

The Morrill Greenhouses

The Morrill greenhouse facility encompasses 6,626 square feet under glass, of which approximately 90 percent is occupied by plants. The Morrill house is a semicircular unit attached to the south end of the Morrill Science Center. A glass tunnel leads to four identical ranges, numbered one to four, that are divided into east and west sections. The Clark house is located about 100 feet away from Morrill and is attached to Clark Hall.

What follows are sizes of specific areas in the various greenhouses, but note that the actual uses and sizes of the areas given below vary from year to year. Also shown is the purpose for a particular space.

  • Class/Collect is the category that includes plants grown for course demonstrations or lab materials, and for undergraduate research projects.
  • Research indicates space that is primarily for faculty research, and is used by post docs, graduate students, and by visitors, technicians, etc. from the faculty member's lab.
  • Service refers to space dedicated to propagation, seed germination, and seedling growth.
Plant Growth Area (in square feet)
House
Class/Collect
Research
Service
Total
Morrill
1,448
0
0
1,448
Tunnel
208
0
0
208
Range #1,
east and west
527
453
74
1,054
Range #2,
east and west
527
527
0
1,054
Range #3,
east and west
527
527
0
1,054
Range #4,
east and west
1,054
0
0
1,054
Clark
700
54
0
754

Temperatures are regulated throughout the greenhouses by a thermostat-controlled venting system, and by fan-powered evaporators in ranges #1 through #3, east and west. Lights of various intensities with programmable timers can be rigged over any bench. Range #4 (east and west sections) is devoted solely to tropical plants, and the Clark house is where plants are grown that thrive under cooler conditions (e.g., alpines).

Growth Chambers

The Conviron growth chambers are housed in a 60-foot by 18-foot structure that is located opposite the four ranges. There are four walk-in chambers, eight smaller chambers, and one upright incubator. Almost all of the plants in these chambers are used for research, although some space is allocated for class use, especially when school is in session.

The growth chambers are controlled by a dedicated computer located in the head house. The environmental parameters are determined by the individual users, but the greenhouse manager is responsible for insuring that the conditions are maintained.

The growth chambers were purchased with a National Science Foundation grant from the Conviron Company and are located in a room larger than 1,000 square feet that is contiguous with ranges #1 to #4. The equipment was installed in 2001. All of the growth chambers feature an adjustable, counter-balanced light canopy, a sampling tube that allows control at plant canopy height, and a design that permits plants to be placed directly on the floor. Specific details about the individual growth chambers include:

  1. Four PGW-36 large reach-in units with 3.3 m2x 200 cm of growing space. Lighting delivers 960 umoles/m2/sec, and temperatures may be controlled between 4 and 45C with a variation of 0.5C.
  2. Four E7/2 dual compartment units, each of which has 0.76 m2 x 64 cm of growing space. Lighting delivers up to 33 umoles/m2/sec. Temperature ranges are similar to the reach-in chambers.
  3. One 125L incubator with five shelves, lighting and humidity controls, and horizontal airflow patterns.