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1927 Map of the Arboretum

Arnold Arboretum Research Facilities

The water lily, Nymphaea thermarum. Rebecca Povilus (2013)
Rebecca Povilus (2013): The water lily, Nymphaea thermarum


Advancing knowledge of the plant kingdom through research plays a pivotal role in the mission of the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University. The Arboretum offers scientists an array of rich collections, information resources, and state-of-the-art facilities to explore broad and important questions in plant biology. The Weld Hill Research Labs of the Arnold Arboretum (WH Labs) are a shared resource. In addition to Arboretum scientists, we open up our resources to an extensive network of visiting scholars from around the world and from the Harvard community. Learn more about requesting research access to the Arboretum living collections, library and archives, and our available fellowships, awards and internships. To request access to the research and teaching facilities, please contact Faye Rosin, director of research facilitation.

Weld Hill Research Facilities

Open Hours Daily: 5:30 a.m. – 11:30 p.m. Registered users may access the Weld Hill Research Facilities with their access card during open hours.

Scientists at Weld Hill will find a diverse range of tools from photosynthesis systems to advanced microscopes. Specifications on much of the available equipment and instructions are listed for each laboratory. Registered users of the facilities may login to BOOKED to reserve equipment.

Microscopy Lab

Molecular Lab

Field Lab

Growth Facilities

Plant Material

The living collection of the Arnold Arboretum comprises a valuable genetic resource representing a large subset of the combined ligneous floras of the North Temperate Zone. The Arboretum strongly encourages and supports the use and distribution of its living collections for research. However, permits are required for all research and collecting activity, and are issued following review by the Curation Department.

The teaching collection of plants is maintained as an educational resource to support Harvard courses and laboratories related to plant biology. The Weld Hill Growth Facilities (research greenhouses, growth chambers, and common gardens) is available for use by Harvard University Arnold Arboretum and Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) research programs. Use requires an approved space request and is governed by the Weld Hill Plant Growth Facility Policies. No plants should be brought into the growth facilities without approval of the plant growth facilities manager.

Research Policies

All academic and research activities at the Arnold Arboretum are governed by the Harvard’s policies on research and compliance. Academic and research compliance issues are investigated by the Harvard Office of the Vice Provost of Research.

Laboratory Safety

The Arnold Arboretum follows laboratory safety guidelines as determined by Harvard University’s Environmental Health and Safety office. All users of the Arboretum’s research facilities are expected to be familiar with these safety guidelines and share responsibility with the University for establishing and maintaining a safe environment. Individuals must complete and be current on their annual renewal for EH&S laboratory safety training and any additional trainings pertinent to their research before working in the Weld Hill Research Building. The Emergency Response Guide, Emergency Phone Numbers, Safety Data Sheets (SDS), and the Chemical Hygiene Plan are available online and in binders in each laboratory. Follow proper guidelines for biosafety and chemical safety including the disposal of hazardous materials and use the hazardous waste labeling tool. If you are unsure of these guidelines, please ask a staff member for help. Food and drink is not allowed in the laboratories or growth facilities. Closed-toe shoes must be worn.