Orientation and PCF Policies

Please contact PCF Coordinator to schedule individual orientation if you are new to working at the greenhouses.

WPS Trainings: WPS Safety Training Sessions will be hosted remotely for PCF researchers and workers each semester. This safety training will be offered for all greenhouse workers and growth chamber users who work or perform tasks in an area where a pesticide has been used or a restricted-entry interval has been in effect in the past 30 days.

  • Worker: Worker is defined as any person who is employed and performs activities directly relating to the production of agricultural plants on an agricultural establishment. https://pesticideresources.org/index.html

Transgenic Plant Material: Handling and Disposal

Transgenic plant material (BL-1 or BL-2) must be grown in an isolated room that is kept locked at all times. All plant material must be rendered biologically inactive by the use of live steam or by autoclaving. The Turner Hall and Plant Science Greenhouses have autoclaves available for this purpose.

Please contact PCF Staff for instructions on how to properly dispose of transgenic or regulated plant and soil materials and to schedule autoclave waste pickup.

Projects need to be registered with the Biological Safety Committee on campus under the guidance of the Department of Environmental Health and Safety (DEHS). All BL-2 projects need to have a Registration Assessment from this committee. The researcher is responsible to explain and to train anyone handling any hazardous materials. A copy of the Registration Assessment should be provided to the PCF Coordinator on all BL-2 projects. A one paragraph summary for all BL-1 projects should be provided to the PCF Coordinator to keep on file or registration number can be listed in the Project Request Form. The researcher needs to inform the PCF Coordinator of any special needs or precautions to be taken regarding their project so that the Coordinator can keep the PCF Staff informed.

Additional References

“A Practical Guide to Containment: Greenhouse Research with Transgenic Plants and Microbes” by Patricia L. Traynor, Dann Adair and Ruth Irwin, Information Systems for Biotechnology, Virginia Tech, 2001. http://www.isb.vt.edu

Greenhouse User* and Researcher Responsibilities

  1. Submit a Project Request Form to receive space assignment; please allow 1-2 weeks based on space availability.
  2. Contact PCF staff by email or in person if there is a need to make changes to project setup or timeline, watering or fertilizer schedule, or if you need assistance.
  3. Contact PCF staff if you notice issues with building equipment, there is a building emergency, flooding, or broken glass immediately.
  4. Maintain open lines of communication with PCF staff concerning project status, routine, project needs, or timeline as it relates to use of facility.
  5. Maintain organized, clean work spaces while using the greenhouses. If you need to store items in the greenhouse, please contact PCF staff.

*Greenhouse User is a member of the faculty, professional staff, researcher or student who is designated as the Principal Investigator (PI), Course Instructor, Faculty Advisor for a graduate/undergraduate student, lead project contact, or worker for the research group. Individual faculty members are ultimately responsible for the organization of their students’ use of the PCF facilities.