Tree Grown from Seeds that Traveled in Space Planted at RVCC

Wednesday, December 6, 2017
space pine tree planting

A tree newly planted on campus at Raritan Valley Community College made a long journey before arriving at its Branchburg, NJ destination. The white pine, which was planted November 28 near the College’s Planetarium, was grown from seeds that traveled aboard a Columbia space shuttle flight in April 1997.

The seeds had been given to NASA from the New Jersey Forest Tree Nursery and traveled 1.5 million miles aboard the shuttle at 17,500 miles per hour. After the mission, they were returned to the New Jersey Forest Service for germination. While white pine seeds generally germinate in approximately 10-14 days, these seeds germinated in half that time.

The “space pine” tree planted at the College was one of two trees given to Dr. Jay Kelly, RVCC Associate Professor of Biology and Environmental Science, from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s Division of Forestry. Professor Kelly gave the other tree to Readington Middle School, where it also was planted last month.

For additional information, contact Professor Jay Kelly at jkelly@raritanval.edu.

Raritan Valley Community College’s main campus is located at 118 Lamington Road in Branchburg, NJ. Serving Somerset and Hunterdon County residents for close to 50 years, RVCC is an educational and cultural center that is nationally recognized for its innovative programming, service to the community and environmental leadership. The College offers more than 90 associate degrees and certificates, as well as career training, professional development, and adult and youth personal enrichment courses. The College also has a performing arts center and planetarium.

RVCC is committed to offering a quality and affordable education through effective teaching, liaisons with the community’s businesses, and state-of-the-art technology. For further information, visit www.raritanval.edu.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 6, 2017

Media contact: Donna Stolzer, 908-526-1200, ext. 8383

PR #59