RCC Outdoor Plant Laboratory

The RCC Outdoor Plant Laboratory (OPL) enables the education of RCC students by providing outdoor laboratory space to compliment the academic courses offered in the Life Sciences Department. The space allows courses to undertake long-term experiments that take the principles learned in the classroom and put them into practice in the field. Because many people come to plant biology, agriculture, and horticulture through a gardening experience, the OPL is also committed to providing the opportunity for students and the community to learn about botany outside a classroom setting.​ 

Where is the OPL located?
The OPL is located on the land adjacent to the Math and Science Building on the RCC campus. Look for the white gazebo! 

How to get involved
There are two ways to get involved in the activities of the OPL. The first is to register for a class that utilizes the OPL space. A few examples of classes that conduct long-term projects and therefore utilize dedicated space for class activities include General Botany (Biology 5), Plants and Human Affairs (Biology 20), Introduction to Organismal and Population Biology (Biology 61). Other classes, such as Introduction to Ecology (Biology 8) and Natural History (Biology 9) utilize the space for shorter term projects but still provide an excellent introduction to the possibilities within the OPL.​

The second way to get involved in the activities of the OPL is to volunteer your time to tend the plots. RCC OPL welcomes volunteers who prepare, plant, and care for the plants. Volunteers are not expected to arrive with garden expertise. The experienced students, staff, and faculty will help to improve your gardening know-how. All volunteers get the chance to improve their gardening skills, but those who volunteer at least eight hours per month (two hours per week) also get a share of the crop!

Faculty: Interested in having your class introduced to the OPL? It is a wonderful spot to have your students hone their creative writing skills, practice French vocabulary, or even discuss the disparities between people of differing socioeconomic levels. To utilize the garden space in your class, contact the OPL Director.

Outdoor Plant Laboratory contact information 
OPL Director: Virginia White, PhD

 RCC Life Sciences Department
 Office location: MTSC 330
 Office phone: 951-222-8334
 Email address: virginia.white@rcc.edu


Contact Us

Located on the 3rd floor of the Math and Science Building​

Main Office 951-222-8533

Dept. IDS - Julie Taylor 

Dept. Chair - Scott Herrick