Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce

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Florida with star for Ft. Pierce

(not open to the public)
701 Seaway Drive
Fort Pierce, FL 34949
Tel: 772-462-6220
Fax: 772-461-8154

420 Seaway Drive
Fort Pierce, FL 34949
Tel: 772-462-FISH





Homepage slideshow 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.

Aerial view of the Smithsonian Marine Ecosystems Exhibit and the Smithsonian marine Station with labels

What's Happening at SMS (Visitors, Tours, Seminars, Etc...)





Postdoctoral Research Opportunity

The Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce anticipates a postdoctoral researcher position starting summer 2014. Postdoctoral researcher will be advised by Dr. Seabird McKeon (marine ecology) and Dr. Valerie Paul (chemical ecology) and collaborate with Dr. Rick Osman, (marine ecology) to develop a research project to investigate aspects of the role of benthic and epibenthic invertebrate diversity in the mitigation of algal blooms in the northern Indian River Lagoon, Florida. The Indian River Lagoon, the focus of this position, is one of the most diverse estuaries in North America, blending subtropical and temperate faunas.

Highly motivated candidates with a Ph.D. degree in relevant science such as invertebrate zoology/marine ecology/or environmental science will be considered. Successful applicants must possess excellent oral and written English communication skills, a positive attitude, and utilize applicable skills with analysis of large ecological datasets, GIS, ecological modeling, and invertebrate identification as needed to address the research question. Field skills including scientific diving, boat handling, and tolerance for spending time in wet/muddy/hot/cold environments are highly desirable. Qualified applicant will be funded with competitive stipend and health benefits. The duration of this position is anticipated to be one year, with the possibility of renewal for a second year, contingent upon performance. Review of applications will begin April 30, 2014. Please send cover letter, list of three references, and CV to

benthic collecting

Current SMS Newsletter

New leadership and direction, bacterial cues, COSEE Florida, sustainable coral display and MORE...

weather tower

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.

tour participant

Behind-the-Scenes Tour of the Research Station

Apr 17, May 15, Jun 19 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.
Please call Laura at 462-6216 to register.


3-D lecture

Friday Afternoon Scientific Seminars

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).


April 11 - Nancy Pham, Vero Beach Marine Laboratory of Florida Institute of Technology
Utilizing Seahorses to Promote Local Conservation Research Efforts