Engineering Students Help Out the Acadia Seedbank

by Kristie, David


The casual observer does not usually associate engineers or engineering students with research activities in the KC Irving Environmental Science Centre, but that impression is quite incorrect. For example, Dr Jennie Rand's water quality lab is found in the Irving Centre, and several other engineering profs (Martin Tango and Paul Arnold) also routinely make use of the greenhouse facilities in the Centre. 

Recently four students in Professor Darrell Crooks' Design II course (APSC 2683) made an extremely useful contribution to the Acadia Seed Bank by fabricating a thermo-gradient apparatus for seed germination experiments. This apparatus is essentially a large thick aluminum plate, with cooling on one side, and heating on the other. This system creates a stable temperature gradient across the width of the plate, which will allow seed germination to be tested simultaneously at a range of temperatures from ca 10 - 40C.  Use of this apparatus should speed up germination trials for some of the rare and endangered species housed in the Seed Bank. A tip of the hat to Derek Stephen, Gavin Barro, Kristin Saulnier, and Luke Harvey for their work in building this device for us. 

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