In an attempt to research media types, fertilization methods, and propagation methods, a tele-collaborative aquatic plant research laboratory was constructed in the Rutgers University Research and Demonstration Greenhouse, home of Ocean of Knows Young McDonalds Farm and at University of Hawaii in mid June 2007. Aquatic plants have gained popularity over the years as the result of an increase in the interest of water gardening in the United States. Since little research has been done with many species of aquatic plants, Graduate student Kathryn Homa, Ocean of Know, Gef Fimlin Rutgers University and Dr. Kevin Hopkins University of Hawaii, Daniel P McVeigh Ocean of Know, Teachers College Columbia University and Dr. John Black Teachers College Columbia University Cognitive science have developed this collabratorium to study these plants and explore the possibilities of remote research and diagnostics in the two locations. Researchers are testing different media types in hopes of discovering the optimum medium in which to produce healthy aquatic plants. Fertilizers including aquatic plant tablets, Osmocote, and hydroponics fertilizer are being tested in an effort to determine which types serve as the most complete food source for aquatic plants. Propagation methods will be studied and performed on the aquatic plants in order to produce large yields in short periods of time. Gaining knowledge about these species of aquatic plants will assist both future growers of aquatic plants and water garden enthusiasts.

This investigation of tele-presence and agricultural research and education may provide new clues in to how to effectively support the needs of remote populations who lack the personal resources such as agricultural crop specialists plant experienced pathologists to solve serious issues such as being able to identifying sources of rampant plant disease or crop infestation. This facility has installed remote sensors and video over ip video conferencing, which allows for researcher access to greenhouse control systems, video microscopes, and tele-robotics.