Greenhouse cultivates success

Flower

By SALVADOR GUTIERREZ, Staff Reporter¦

Something new has taken root at Amarillo College. This fall, the Washington Street Campus will open the doors of the new greenhouse, also known as the STEM Research Center. This facility will host classes for students enrolled in degree programs and certificates in horticulture, biochemistry, environmental science and sustainable resource management.

“From a grant proposal to an actual structure standing and ready to serve generations of students, I could not be more thrilled to be a part of the entire process,” Dr. Claudie Biggers, biology department chair, said. “The STEM Research Center will house multiple programs that will embrace a new research-infused approach to learning.”

The seeds for the greenhouse were planted in 2017 with a $4.9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education. An advisory board made up of local industry experts contributed to the design of the new certificates and degrees, Biggers said.

AC is joining forces with Texas Tech University to make it possible for horticulture majors to transfer to Tech to complete online baccalaureate degrees in plant and soil science.

“The greenhouse will be a tremendous asset that offers cutting-edge, hands-on research to greatly enhance our students’ classroom experiences,” Gerek Burford, greenhouse director, said.

The horticulture certificate can be completed in two semesters and will prepare students to meet industry needs in areas such as pest-control, landscape architecture and plant breeding.

For more information call (806) 371-5000.

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