May 2, 2019University of Maine at Presque Isle breaks ground on all-season research greenhouse
The University of Maine at Presque Isle has broken ground on an 2,400-square-foot, all-season teaching and research greenhouse. When completed, the $935,000 project will feature two climate-controlled research labs, a teaching classroom and an office for the chair.
The greenhouse’s state-of-the-art design will maximize energy and operational efficiency. Key features of the greenhouse include double layer polycarbonate transparent panels for the roof and walls, LED grow light systems, watering and ventilation systems — including destratification, exhaust and circulation fans — and an advanced climate control system and sensor capacity. The technology will help support UMPI’s current research efforts such as disease management, soil fertility and economic opportunities for Maine growers and agricultural producers.
The greenhouse will be used for various educational and research activities, including courses on plant biology, soil science, plant and crop science, and integrated pest management. Students will receive training in greenhouse crop production, sensor utilization and analyzing remote monitoring, production and energy cost data in order to develop a deeper understanding of greenhouse economics.
Faculty will utilize the new facility to host professional development workshops for training in techniques such as seedling production and grafting, and collaborate with community and state partners, such as the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, Maine Farm Bureau, Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, Future Farmers of America, Maine Farmland Trust, the Maine Potato Board, McCain Foods and the Maine Sustainable Agriculture Association.