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Welcome to the Smithsonian Marine Station
Who We Are...
The Smithsonian Marine Station (SMS) at Fort Pierce, Florida is a research center specializing in
marine biodiversity and ecosystems of Florida. Research focuses on the Indian River Lagoon and the offshore waters of Florida's east central coast, with comparative studies throughout coastal Florida.
The Station, a facility of the
National Museum of Natural History, is part of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, and serves as a field station which draws scientists and students from the Smithsonian and collaborating institutions around the world to investigate the plants, animals and physical processes in the ocean and Indian River Lagoon. Information uncovered at the Marine Station is published in scientific journals and forms the basis for effective public policies, conservation efforts, and resource management.
Dedicated to the "increase and diffusion of knowledge", the Marine Station offers online resources including the Indian River Lagoon Species Inventory, Field Guide to the Indian River Lagoon, and a public exhibit, the Smithsonian Marine Ecosystems Exhibit, which features aquaria that depict five local marine ecosystems, and many events and programs for the enjoyment and education of the public.
The Station also provides logistical and administrative management of the Caribbean Coral Reef Ecosystems Program (CCRE) based at the Carrie Bow Cay Field Station on the Meso-American Barrier Reef in Belize. SMS and CCRE are vital parts of the Smithsonian Marine Science Network.
Join Us For Our Open House - Saturday, March 8 from 10 AM to 2 PM !
The Smithsonian Marine Station is opening its doors to the public and invites you to learn about the research being conducted by Smithsonian scientists and why understanding marine ecosystems is so important and relevant to the lives of everyone on the planet. Three will be hands-on activities for both children and adults.
Smithsonian Evening Lectures - March 13 and April 3 at 7PM
Join us in the Indian River Room of the Pelican Yacht Club at 1120 Seaway Drive in Fort Pierce for two evening lectures.
Thursday, March 13 at 7PM, Dr. Melanie McField
Thursday, April 3 at 7PM, Dr. C. Seabird McKeon
A reception will follow each lecture. Admission is free
Marine biodiversity, Honduran reefs, corals reproducing successfully at SMEE, and MORE...
Local Conditions at SMS
The Marine Station has been recording and posting water quality information from our dock location since 2006. We are now also providing continuous recordings of local atmospheric conditions. Instruments on a 25' weather tower are recording rainfall, temperature, humidity, wind speed and direction, UV radiation and total solar output, and the data is being fed to our website. Check out this online resource at Most Recent Weather and Water Info from SMS and Detailed Water Conditions at our Dock.
Mar 20, Apr 17, May 15 at 2PM - FREE, but registration is required
Located at 701 Seaway Drive in Fort Pierce, our research laboratory is the workplace where our Smithsonian scientists and their colleagues from around the world carry out studies of the plants and animals that inhabit the Indian River Lagoon and other local marine environments. We’re not usually open to the public, but the third Thursday of the month is your chance to walk behind our usually-closed doors to learn what’s going on. Our postdoctoral fellows and resident and visiting scientists will be happy to tell you what questions they are investigating, and what interesting findings and observations they have made.
The tours are free, but registration is required.
Our Friday afternoon scientific seminars are of a technical nature, geared toward members of the scientific community. They are held in the conference room of the Smithsonian Marine Station at 3:00 PM on Fridays (unless otherwise stated).
March 14 - Nathan Truelove, Postdoctoral Fellow at the Smithsonian Marine Station
The Conservation Genetics of Coral Reef Species in the Caribbean
March 28 - Leslie Babonis, University of Florida Whitney Lab
Old cell new trick? Cnidocytes as a model for the evolution of novelty