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Smithsonian Environmental Research Center

Who We Are

The Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) leads the nation in research on the linkages between land and water ecosystems in the coastal zone and provides society with the knowledge to meet the most critical environmental challenges of the 21st century. We couldn't fulfill our mission without a dedicated crew of volunteers. Some of our researchers rely on citizen scientists: volunteers who actively help out with research projects in the field or in the lab. SERC citizen scientists have planted experimental forests, joined archaeological digs and hunted for invasive species. They become partners in discovery, finding answers to new questions and getting an inside look at science in the real world. In return, the scientists are able to gather information on a much larger scale than would be possible on their own. While our main research facility is in Maryland, on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay, SERC scientists do research all over the world. In addition to numerous field sites, SERC has a permanent satellite lab on San Francisco Bay based at the Romberg Tiburon Center in Tiburon, California.

What We Do

The Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) provides science-based knowledge to meet the environmental challenges of the 21st century. SERC leads research on coastal ecosystems—where land meets the sea—to inform real-world decisions for wise policies, best business practices, and a sustainable planet.

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