AES- Research Greenhouse Complex


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Greenhouse Operating Guide


NDSU Greenhouse Operating Guide

approved 1-13-11

revised 12-13-13


  • The NDSU Director of the Ag Experiment station will be an ex-officio member of the NDSU Greenhouse Committee (hereafter referred to as Committee).  This individual will provide counsel on University regulations and protocol.
  • The USDA-ARS in Fargo will appoint one ex-officio member.  This individual will serve as liaison to the Committee representing the interests of the ARS faculty.
  • The NDSU Assistant Director to Ag Facilities will serve on the Committee as a non-voting member.  This individual will provide information and guidance on issues pertaining to facility structures and permanent equipment.
  • The NDSU Greenhouse Manager will serve on the Committee as a non-voting member (hereafter referred to as Manager).  The Manager is the primary contact for facility use, material maintenance, and billing within the complex west of 18th St.  The Manager initiates and enforces operation guidelines set forth by the Committee.
  • Six NDSU faculty will be appointed to serve on the Committee as voting members.  The voting members draft operation protocol and guidelines to be administered by the manager.  Voting members assign space and rule on grievances submitted through the Manager.
  • Appointment to the Committee will be made by the Director of the Ag Experiment Station in consultation with and by nomination of heads of units within the College of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Natural Resources.
  • Appointed members will serve a 3-yr term, June though May, and may serve two consecutive terms.
  • Two positions should be appointed each year.
  • A chair will be elected from these members by the Committee.


  • Decisions of operation protocol and grievance resolution are valid at meetings with 50% of voting members present.
  • Decisions of space allocation and facility management recommendations are valid from members present at the meeting.
  • Motions pass on a simple majority of members present.
  • The chair only votes in the event of a tie.
  • Electronic voting is acceptable.  If used, electronic voting will be administered by the chair.
  • Space Assignment

  • Space in greenhouses east of 18th St. is assigned through departments.
  • Space in the AES Greenhouse west of 18th St. is assigned through the Committee.
  • The Manager will facilitate distribution and collection of space request forms.
  • Request forms are due on the first business day of each month and will be considered by the Committee during the regular meeting (electronic correspondence if necessary) of that month.
  • Advanced notice of at least a month is encouraged and space can be requested for any time during the current academic calendar.
  • Requests received by the due date will be considered before late submissions.  Requests may only be submitted by faculty with research appointment in the Agricultural Experiment Station.  In addition, priority consideration will be given to faculty without other greenhouse space or faculty with perceived emergency need by the Committee.
  • The Manager will contact renters regarding anticipated scheduling and updated timelines for specific space.
  • Subletting of allocated space is under control of the primary renter of the room.  The Manager must be kept informed of additional contacts for projects within the room and specific experiment conditions and needs.

Space Use (AES Greenhouse)

  • Plants may not be brought into the greenhouse ranges from outside the facility.
  • Standard potting materials will be provided for work done in the facility.
  • Individuals using space are responsible to maintain sanitary environment in areas of operation.
  • Individuals using space are required to communicate experiment conditions and needs to the Manager.
  • Use Infractions (AES Greenhouse)

  • The Manager will have authority to remove material or notify individuals of violations to facility operation guidelines.
  • An e-mail notice (also in person if available) will be sent to individuals responsible for the allocated space.
  • If response is not received in 24 hr with an acceptable plan to correct the situation, a second e-mail will be sent with a 48-hr deadline to demonstrate compliance.
  • If response is not received, the manager will correct the problem and issue billing in the amount of $50/hr (minimum of 2 hr) for the time needed to correct the issue.
  • PI Controlled Equipment (AES Greenhouse)

  • Growth chambers, refrigeration units, and other equipment acquired by individual PIs may be granted permanent space with approval of the Committee.
  • Temporary relocation of equipment or relocation of marginally operational equipment to the facility is not desired.
  • Equipment compatible with the existing control and monitoring system is preferred.
  • The PI may retain preferential use of the equipment but is responsible for costs related to installation, networking with facility software, and repairs associated with project use.
  • Growth chambers and other equipment may incur a rental charge associated with potting materials.
  • Plants cannot be brought into the growth chambers from outside the facility.
  • The Manager has exclusive control over pest management and sanitation of growth chambers regardless of ownership.
  • Freezers and other equipment that does not require supplies from the facility will not incur a space or use fee.
  • When not used by original PI, equipment may be available for rent through the Committee in accordance with space allocation guidelines (Section III).
  • Equipment may require special training before use.
  • The Facility is responsible for regular maintenance and monitoring expenses during rental periods.
  • The tenant PI may be responsible for repair expenses for damage during use.
  • The PI may transfer equipment to sole control by the Committee and Manager (Section VII).  With this action the PI is not responsible for maintenance or monitoring expenses but also relinquishes preferential use at no charge.

Greenhouse Controlled Equipment

  • Some equipment, such as growth chambers, is under the control of the Committee and Manager and is available to rent for a fee through the Committee in accordance with space allocation guidelines (Section III).
  • Users of this equipment are expected to follow guidelines for space use (IV) with the exception that plant material may be brought in from outside the facility after consultation with the Manager.
  • Common Space (AES Greenhouse)

  • Use of any common space is coordinated through the Manager.  Plant material may be brought in from outside the facility with notice to the Manager.
  • Some areas are available for use without fee but training for operation of equipment in the area is required and approval for use is granted by the Manager.
  • Vernalization chamber.
  • Misting chambers.
  • Incubation chambers.
  • Spray booths.
  • Laboratory rooms.
  • Petition for Special Circumstance Allowance (AES Greenhouse)

  • Requests for deviation to presented guidelines and permission to establish nonstandard apparatus should be brought in writing to the building Manager.
  • The Manager will forward requests to the Committee when necessary (the PI may defend the request if desired).
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