This facility is designed to function as a living laboratory for Campus and the Department of Biological Science's plant and ecology related courses, as well as research space for faculty and graduate students. More than 4,000 exotic plants, representing over 1,000 distinct species, are maintained in, and around, the Teaching Greenhouse. Four simulated environments - tropical, warm temperate, cool temperate and desert - facilitate students' understanding of the diversity of plant species and their ecologies. Plants are labeled with information regarding their taxonomies, geographic origins, common names and economic uses.
Today, the E.W. Heier Teaching Greenhouse is a member of the Botanical Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) Metacollection Plantsearch© Database. This links member facilities globally to fight plant extinction. Additionally, the Teaching collection has 69 species listed on the IUCN Redlist of Endangered and Threatened Species, including the critically endangered Wollemia nobilis.
Throughout its history, the Teaching Greenhouse has paralleled the growing strength and diversity of our department, as well as its teaching goals. It has been supporting botany & ecology on campus for over 50 years and over 4 facilities. The greenhouse employs one full-time and one three-quarter time staff, who are assisted each semester by a select number of student volunteers.