Harrisburg University Expands Aquaponics Program with Opening of New Research Lab, designed by INTAG Systems
This fall, Harrisburg University of Science and Technology (HU) opened a dedicated research space within the new Student Union that will provide students and faculty with a venue for exploring technological advances in Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA). The lab features the patented INTAG Natural Nutrient System (INNS) technology that brings reliable and consistent organic nutrient production onsite and recycles plant and animal waste streams.
Under the direction of Dr. Rachel Fogle, Biology Professor, HU students selected for internships with the aquaponics program will have the opportunity to participate in research projects alongside HU faculty across a range of disciplines. The new lab expands HU’s footprint for applied research in aquaponic farming. Dr. Fogle’s team, led by Mylik Jupiter (Aquaponics Technician), also oversees the operation of a 3,000 square foot greenhouse at Steelton-Highspire High School that houses three additional INTAG Systems, and provides a unique venue for high school and college students to gain practical experience of the industry.
“Our students are actively engaged in important work that will shape the future of controlled environment agriculture by designing new tools and methods for crop cultivation,” said Dr. Fogle. “This additional lab space in the Student Union will enable HU research teams to design and conduct a wider range of experiments, and to showcase that work to the wider HU community.”
Harrisburg University Presidential Research Grants award funding for selected projects during the spring semester. The grant framework ensures a roadmap of connected projects that further specific areas of applied research.
INTAG, HU and the Steelton-Highspire School District have been collaborating on workforce development and dual enrollment programs to further STEM education since 2016. Eligible students enrolled at Steelton-Highspire High School can earn up to nine university credits through these programs, gaining an important advantage before graduation.