The Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) provides science-based knowledge to meet critical environmental challenges. SERC leads objective research on coastal ecosystems—where land meets the sea—to inform real-world decisions for wise policies, best business practices, and a sustainable planet.
As the leading environmental research institute of the world’s largest museum complex, SERC’s headquarters comprise 2,650 acres of diverse landscape and 15 miles of protected shoreline on the nation’s largest estuary - Chesapeake Bay – just 25 miles from the nation’s capital. The site serves as a natural laboratory for long-term and cutting edge ecological research. Here we are exploring the most pressing issues affecting the environment, including toxic chemicals, water quality, invasive species, land use, fisheries, and global change. SERC also explains environmental science in innovative ways that change how people view the biosphere and inspire them to take an active role in sustainable stewardship of the Earth. SERC leads networks of research and education extending across both coasts of the U.S. and around the planet.