Krista Johnson


Plant Science


Indianapolis, Indiana

my Purdue view

January 15, 2020

I have always been fond of plants and was able to deepen this by exploring many roles within the agricultural field. Working in many leadership positions at the Felege Hiywot Center, a local youth outreach urban farm, allowed me to share my love of plants with my community by engaging youth with the nature around them.

By attending the Indiana Academy for my last two years of high school, I was able to audit an introductory botany class through Ball State University. This encouraged me to get an internship at the Dr. Joe and Alice Rinard Orchid Greenhouse.

That internship was pivotal and instilled my desire to manage a botanical greenhouse. Upon meeting the previous greenhouse manager during enrollment at Purdue, I landed a position and have worked at the Lilly Greenhouses since my first week of classes.

In time, my learning experiences and the knowledge obtained from my horticulture minor allowed me to step up to manage the botany and biology plant collections. This position allows me to teach other students how to generate and care for plants.

After graduating, I would like to complete a master’s degree with a focus on conservation. My goal is to maintain a collection of endangered plants with hopes to reintroduce them to habitats that may evolve over time with climate change. I also plan to obtain a studio arts degree with a concentration in painting while maintaining my position at Purdue.

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