The University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) formally broke ground on its new $5.3 million greenhouse facility Friday, The Daily News-Miner reports. The project is being touted as a step toward modern agricultural research in the state.
The building will replace a set of 1960s-era greenhouses that were torn down to make room for the nearby Life Sciences building on UAF’s West Ridge. The project is being funded with part of a nearly $400 million education bond package approved by voters in November.
“We’ll finally be able to educate students to enter the modern greenhouse industry, which we just couldn’t do before,” says Carol Lewis, dean of the School of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences.
Horticulture professor Meriam Karlsson says a modern greenhouse is particularly important in Alaska because agricultural research in the state is different than anywhere else in the country. She says the weather and sunlight in the north require special crops and growing techniques.
“When you’re growing plants here, we’re pushing our plants to the limit,” she says. “We need to be able to see how far they can go.”
Read the full story online at www.newsminer.com.