Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce

Advanced Search

Children looking at crab
Children handling sea urchin

The Smithsonian Marine Station (SMS) is dedicated to the increase and diffusion of knowledge in the marine sciences. The Station pursues this worthy goal through its research publications, school and public outreach programs and by helping to train the next generation of Smithsonian research scientists.

Over 800 scientific publications have come from research done at the Smithsonian Marine Station (see Publications). Most of these contributions have been reports in scientific journals, but they also include an illustrated key to the algae and marine plants of Florida and the Caribbean, an educational video on meiofauna, and a handbook on the echinoderms of Florida and the Caribbean. Work at the Marine Station has been featured in Discover, Popular Science and Smithsonian magazines, as well as on network and public television both in the US and abroad.

SMS works hand-in-hand with local schools, working with budding marine scientists at all levels. At the Smithsonian Marine Ecosystems Exhibit, our staff hosts visiting school groups from kindergarten through college for self-guided visits, hands-on science programs and behind-the-scenes tours. Beginning in 1999 the Station participated in a 10-year collaboration with Saint Lucie County Schools and Indian River State College to provide dual enrollment courses for high school students at Indian River State College in oceanography, marine biology, and marine ecology. Smithsonian visiting scientists presented guest lectures in the courses and participated in field and laboratory studies. And each year, the Smithsonian Marine Station promotes the education of emerging scientists by offering research fellowships at the graduate and postgraduate levels (see Postdoctoral Fellowships and Graduate Fellowships).

In addition to the Station's outreach efforts through the Exhibit, Smithsonian scientists and staff also host occasional lab tours for students, serve as judges in science fairs, respond to student and teacher requests, present lectures and displays at schools and much, much more. For over 35 years, the Smithsonian Marine Station has made every effort to be a reliable and avaiable resource on marine science to St. Lucie County, the Treasure Coast, and beyond.

Boy looking through microscope
Boy looking through microscope

But the Marine Station's outreach efforts extend far beyond the classroom. Alongside visiting scientists, Smithsonian staffers give lectures to various community groups, participate in videos for the local educational television station and set up educational exhibits featuring living plants and animals from the Indian River Lagoon and coastal waters for community events and festivals. And with the help of the World Wide Web, the Station offers online resources that reach the rest of the globe. Most prominent among our online offerings is the Indian River Lagoon Species Inventory Project--a catalog of the incredible biodiversity of the Indian River Lagoon. The Marine Station has also joined other research and educational organizations in Saint Lucie County to form the Saint Lucie Research and Education Coalition--a linkage of scientific and educational institutions representing an extensive network of research facilities in agriculture, aquaculture and marine sciences.

The Smithsonian is an ever-growing resource for our local and global community. To find out more about our educational and outreach efforts, visit the Marine Ecosystems Exhibit home page or contact Laura Diederick at diederick@si.edu.

[ TOP ]