Initial Training Program (ITP)

CAS/AES Greenhouse Operations ITP Handout
Revised: September 2012

Two items can effect on how well your projects function in the greenhouses.  They are: (1) coordinating with Greenhouse Operations (GOPS) on temperature settings, watering, maintenance, safety, and pest/disease control when you begin your research projects and as needed throughout your tenure. (2) check your sections daily and notify GOPS when you have problems.

The following list provides introductory information for all greenhouse users.  Please contact the manager or the greenhouse office with any questions. The full greenhouse policy(GOPOL) is available upon request to the greenhouse manager. All greenhouse employees and Primary Users and their employees are required to attend a Worker Protection Safety training session conducted by GOPS prior to working in the greenhouses. 

Space Allocation - CAS/AES Greenhouse Space Allocation Policy (SPALL)

Greenhouse space has been assigned to the CAS/AES departments that use the facility. These departments have a process that allocates space to their faculty. The assigned faculty memeber is referred to as the “Primary User”. This person has the responsibility to coordinate with GOPS space use needs and compliance with safety regulations within their sections. The Primary User is the contact for other projects needing space for short term loans. Allocation of space which cross department boundaries are subject to the process established in the full SPALL policy.  Space usage fees associated with all glass and fixed roof areas are the responsibility of the designated department. Please make every attempt to use the space efficiently.

Services by Greenhouse Crew – (GOPS)

  1. Environmental Control - Contact GOPS with requests. Do not manipulate controls.
  2. Watering - Each greenhouse has directions posted for coordination of watering. GOPS offers daily hand watering with options for weekend only; user only; and/or individual rooms set up with specific flagging markers. Do not use red or gray colored plastic pot labels. Outside or growth chamber watering is not provided by GOPS. Special watering instructions need to be coordinated with the greenhouse office. Watering Policy
  3. IPM Insect/disease Control - GOPS surveys weekly and coordinates control per agreements with each project. All legal and safety regulations are followed by all employees. Spray personnel need to be licensed by state DOA and follow GOPS policies. Notify greenhouse manager prior to rearing live insects and/or diseases within the facility. IPM Policy
  4. Shading - GOPS applies 50% aluminet shade cloth at West and liquid shading compound at East each spring and removes it each fall.
  5. Personal Plants – No personnel plants permitted
  6. Key Requests – Contact the greenhouse office for request forms and door code(primary user authorization necessary).
  7. Media - Commercial bagged media, vermiculite, perlite, and peat moss is available for purchase on site. Pumice, sand and loam is on site for use per request to GOPS. Soil pH and EC meters are available for loan at the greenhouse office. Soil recycling is located at the West Greenhouses.
  8. Autoclave and pasteurization - Steam pasteurization equipment and autoclaves are located at both facilities. Pot pasteurization is available for disease control. EHS link for autoclave use is (
  9. Maintenance - Coordination of repairs and maintenance is conducted by the greenhouse office and approval is required from the GOPS prior to work or reoairs of the facilities. Users are financially responsible for special requests not covered by the GOPOL.
  10. Safety - Emergency contact info is posted by each phone ,West high corridor, in the East Garage. EHS link to safety instructions is located at ( Carcinogens, radioactive materials, and GMO/biological agents need approval from manager before being brought to the greenhouses. All users should promote safe practices at work. No dress code but recommend closed toe shoes.
  11. Supplemental lighting – Prior to user purchase and installation the GOPS manager needs to approve type and location. All lighting needs to be controlled either by mechanical or electronic controllers. GOPS sets all lighting manipulations requested by Users for the Envirostep electronic controllers. Users can set mechanical time clocks. Seasonal adjustments to light settings help reduce energy costs. Light meters available for loan from GOPS. Lighting Policy
  12. Exterior areas - Departmental outdoor space is available through assignments within each department. Request to GOPS for outdoor space is issued as first come first served. No pest spray or watering service provided.
  13. Resident Students - A resident is on duty each night, weekends and holidays.   
  14. Security - Users in the facilities outside the 8am-5pm Mon.-Fri. hours must help keep the exterior doors closed and locked. 
  15. Labeling Plants - Use waterproof cards to ID space use with contact information.
  16. Trash/Dumpster - Once per week service, please put unwanted plant material in the dumpsters ASAP. Notify office if dumpsters are full.
  17. Sanitation - There is a pot washing room and root washing station, and clean up stations in the corridors at West. East has clean up material in the garage and E 16-17. Empty your garbage cans in the head houses and greenhouses. Bench sanitation supplies are available.
  18. Space Use Efficiency - Discard plants promptly when experiments are completed to avoid unnecessary pest sprays, water, etc.  As a user, please take individual responsibility to help keep the facilities in a clean and orderly condition. Lack of convenient storage is a significant problem. However, do not convert greenhouse bench tops to storage. Do not store items under benches as this prevents cooler airflow and access for weed control.

Experience has proven conflicts and/or frustrations can be avoided if users coordinate needs with the GOPS manager or technicians prior to using the greenhouses. We ask for advance coordination with no intent to limit researcher activities. Our aim is to ensure planned activities do not present incompatible pest control needs, unrealistic heating/cooling situations, incompatible lighting requests, impractical watering instructions, etc. Please let us know when services are not being done properly.  Patience is appreciated as we attempt to interact with five departments and over a hundred users. User observations are valuable in helping us through the seasonal cycles at the greenhouses.