Smithsonian Environmental Research Center


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The Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) has extensive research and education programs in environmental sciences, focused on land-sea interactions in coastal bays. SERC actively promotes opportunities for student training and collaborative research in both SF Bay and Chesapeake Bay, the nation’s two iconic estuaries. SERC researchers have maintained a laboratory on San Francisco Bay, in facilities rented on SF State’s Romberg Tiburon Campus since 2000.

In 2013, the Smithsonian Institution and SF State initiated a more formal partnership to support joint research and education opportunities (through a memorandum of understanding). In addition to serving as SERC’s SF Bay headquarters, we recently established the first west coast Marine Global Earth Observatory (MarineGEO) site in SF Bay. In 2016, faculty, staff and students from the Smithsonian, the EOS Center and the SF Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve conducted joint research efforts together in Richardson Bay, close to the EOS Center on the southwestern side of the Tiburon Peninsula.