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The botanic garden is the living laboratory for a variety of courses as well as numerous research projects. Students have valuable and exciting opportunities to work directly with living plants as part of their academic studies. All departments and students are encouraged to incorporate the campus landscape and our collection of living plants into your studies. Let us know how we can help you.

Ways to Engage

The botanic garden offers both guided and unguided experiences in the greenhouses and gardens on a first-come, first-served basis. To arrange a visit, please fill out the form or email our administrative assistant at to get connected to the appropriate staff member. We ask that faculty schedule guided visits at least four weeks in advance and unguided visits at least two weeks in advance. 

For art or writing activities, the botanic garden offers stools, clipboards and pencils upon request.

Botanic garden staff teach on a range of themes related to botanical studies. A sampling of topics include: plant form and function, the history of plant collecting, understanding botanic gardens as living museums, medicinal and economically important plants, and landscape and garden management. To discuss opportunities for engaging your classes with the botanic garden please email to get connected with the appropriate staff member.

Explore our database or email for more information on how to sample from our collections. 

The botanic garden is frequently looking to collaborate with students and faculty on course projects that work in support of our mission to foster environmental and social justice through teaching and learning about plants, people and place. As a publicly accessible botanic garden, students have the unique opportunity for experiential learning. 

botanical art

Previous Curricular Enhancement Projects

  • Faculty: Jack Loveless

Since Fall 2017, students have worked with the botanic garden to carry out spatial analyses and have created maps that support the garden’s mission. Maps have included creating virtual tours of significant trees, exploring tree health by mapping root system interaction with underground infrastructure, and assessing and improving inclusivity of local school visits to the garden. 

Faculty: Susan Montgomery

Students in Drawing I and Studio Art Foundations classes made “artistic pilgrimages” to the Lyman Plant House over three semesters. In the work, they aimed to connect meaningfully with place, space, and people at Lyman through drawing and sculpting. The project evolved into an intentional collaboration with greenhouse staff and the results of this collaboration, Into the Glasshouse, were exhibited in the Church Gallery with supporting funds from a Botanic Garden Curricular Enhancement Grant.

Faculty: Colin Hoag

Students help to reimagine the botanic garden’s purpose and programming through engaging with semester long topics. In Spring 2020 students were asked, “What might it mean to ‘decolonize’ a botanic garden?” and in Fall 2022 they focused on the question, “Where does botanophilia come from, and how do we make more of it?”

Through research, dialog and critical examination of the botanic garden, students began to answer these questions and then put forward their thoughts, insights and recommendations to botanic garden staff in the form of a collective report.