Greenhouse: Staff

Superintendent: Ms. Teddi Bloniarz

The retirement of the well-respected greenhouse manager, Ronald Beckwith, after 25 years resulted in some very large shoes to fill. The Biology Department was fortunate, however, to identify and hire Teddi Bloniarz for this challenging position. Teddi ran her own commercial greenhouse in western Massachusetts for 14 years, and later spent five years at Holyoke Community College, managing their Botany lab and greenhouse. Just before accepting the Biology greenhouse position, she worked for a year as a research assistant in a neurobiology lab in the Biology Department at UMass. This not only introduced her to the workings of the university, but gave her the opportunity to meet both students and faculty.

Teddi has an Associate Degree from the Stockbridge School and a Bachelors Degree in Plant and Soil Sciences from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. While running her own business, Teddi also designed and installed interiorscapes. This expertise is now being exploited by the Biology Department as she is being asked to decorate rooms for seminars and other departmental functions along with her managerial duties.

Teddi officially started her new position in July, 2001 and has familiarized herself with the collection and with the requirements of both faculty and students. One of her first goals was to institute conditions consistent with the requirements for Integrated Pest Management. She can be reached by e-mail: teddi@bio.umass.edu or by phone: (413) 545-0417.


Other Staff

The full-time staff is supplemented by four to six part-time workers who are hired by Teddi Bloniarz and trained by Armand Prevost. These added staff members include mostly work-study students. They are responsible for weekend/holiday watering, general clean-up, and other routine but essential chores.