Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, Smithsonian Institute
Data Center Description
The Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) is dedicated to increasing knowledge of the biological and physical processes that sustain life on earth. SERC's interdisciplinary research applies long-term studies to examine the ecological questions about landscapes of linked ecosystems, especially those impacted by human activities. SERC scientists use an experimental approach to discover mechanisms regulating the structure and dynamics of the environment.
Located on the shore of Chesapeake Bay, SERC uses the geographic features of the nation's largest estuary to investigate interconnections of aquatic, terrestrial and atmospheric components of complex landscapes. These studies are then compared on regional, continental and global scales. SERC develops innovative approaches and instrumentation to measure environmental change in four ecological levels: global change; landscape ecology; ecology of coastal ecosystems; and population and community ecology.
For improved stewardship of the biosphere, SERC's research provides data, publications and expert consultation in support of conservation, environmental policy and management of natural resources. Connected to an international network of collaborators, SERC trains future generations of scientists to address ecological questions of the nation and globe. SERC's education programs in ecology demonstrate to the public the active process of research, and infuse scientific approaches for environmental issues through experiencing nature.