Greenhouse grows biology department

Stevenson University opens new greenhouse in honor of Sara G. Manning and in favor of biology students.

Stevenson University has recently built a new greenhouse at Owings Mills North, behind the Manning Academic Center.  This new building will give students and professors another area for experiments and research on plant growth.

Stevenson University opens new greenhouse in honor of Sara G. Manning, and in favor of biology students.

The Sara G. Manning Greenhouse is one of the newest additions to Stevenson’s campus. According to Carolyn Danna, senior lecturer in biology, the dedication of the new greenhouse took place during the ceremony that recognized the new Dell Family Pathway and the portrait of former President Kevin J. Manning in the lobby of the Manning Academic Center.

With support from President Emeritus Manning the greenhouse, that he dedicated to his wife Sara, will be used this semester in biology classes after the final details are outlined.

The addition of the greenhouse will positively impact the curriculum of many biology classes. Dr. Samuel Obae, biology professor, said, “having the greenhouse basically gives them [students] the room to manipulate a number of conditions, to investigate whatever hypothesis they have set forth.”

With a major like biology, there are many different career paths that a student can take. This greenhouse will help students to narrow down their decision. Laila Abdul-Rahman, freshman biology major, said, “The new greenhouse will allow for a wider range of classes for biology majors to get a better sense of what they want to do with their degree.”

The greenhouse is creating change not only in the research that students can do, but also for faculty.  According to Obae, the greenhouse is organized into two sections to reach the maximum amount of usage. One section is designated for the use of biology classes and their experiments while the other section is reserved for any biology professors who want to do independent research.

This new opportunity for the professors has caused a flood of excitement and innovation in the biology department.  “Besides using the greenhouse for teaching, we also — me in particular,  and the other professors — plan on using it for research,” said Obae.

The greenhouse is viewed as another laboratory; therefore, proper supervision and safety precautions are necessary when entering. Obae explained that the greenhouse is open only to students in biology classes. If said students need to work on a project during their own time, they must have another student with them for safety reasons.

There are tours of the greenhouse available for students, but they should not enter without permission.  For safety precautions,  the biology department discourages people who are not using the greenhouse for scientific purposes to stay out.

With the addition of the new greenhouse, the biology faculty is hoping that it will help attract potential biology and environmental science students to Stevenson. Obae expressed that the biology professors are often asked by applicants if Stevenson has a greenhouse, and now the biology department can say, “Yes, we have a brand-new greenhouse.”

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