BioTECH Student Research: Orchids

Orchid Seed Banking

Million Orchid Project student-supported research includes testing micropropagation laboratory techniques, designing and testing novel growth systems, and exploring methods for native orchid seed banking efforts.

BioTECH Lead Teacher: Jolynne Woodmansee, M.S.
Fairchild Researcher: Jason Downing, Ph.D
Project Resources: Data Sheet, Viability testing of orchid seeds
Location: Dimare Science Village
Grade Level: Juniors

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Seed Morphometry

Orchids are among the smallest seeds produced by flowering plants and their size, shape, and structural qualities can tell us a lot about how these seeds are dispersed. Students examine seed and embryo volume to better understand these relationships.

BioTECH Lead Researcher
: Jolynne Woodmansee, M.S.
Fairchild Researcher: Jason Downing, Ph.D.
Project Resources: Data Sheet, Seed morphometry of epiphytic orchidsSeed morphology of tropical and temperate orchid species.
Location: Hsiao Imaging Lab
Grade Level: Juniors

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National Orchid Garden

Students test orchid attachment techniques and monitor health parameters as they expand Fairchild’s largest public outdoor display of tropical orchids in the United States. The National Orchid Garden serves as a living laboratory and includes a historic collection from the American Orchid Society.  

Fairchild Researcher: Jason Downing, Ph.D.
Project Resources: Data Sheet, National Orchid Garden
Additional References: BGCI.org, Florida Orchid Growing (Martin Motes, Ph.D.)
Location: Richard H. Simons Rainforest and Jewels of the Caribbean
Grade Level: Seniors

Orchids in the Classroom is a Youth Access Grant (YAG) program connecting students of the Anacostia Watershed, the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center(SERC), and scientists from the North American Orchid Conservation Center (NAOCC) in an effort to study native orchids. BioTECH students and teachers support these efforts by examining the mycorrhizal fungal relationships of native orchids. 

BioTECH Lead Researcher: Jolynne Woodmansee, M.S.
Fairchild Researcher: Jason Downing, Ph.D.
Community collaborators:
Alison Cawood Ph.D. and Cosette Larash (Smithsonian Environmental Research Center)
Project Resources: Protocols, Data Sheet, Orchids in the Classroom, Welcome Video, Orchid Mycorrhizal fungi affect distribution and population dynamics
Location: Dimare Science Village 
Gradel Level:
Sophomores, Juniors, Seniors

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