Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC)

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Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC)

NEW! The Woodlawn History Center welcomes visitors to SERC and provides an entry point and information on visitor amenities and announcements.  Woodlawn is the oldest building in the Smithsonian’s collection that is still in its’ original location (the 1735 portion of the original house). Only two families have ever owned the house; the Sellman family for approximately the first 200 years, and the Kirkpatrick-Howats, for the next 100 years. Woodlawn’s most famous resident, Jonathan Sellman, fought with George Washington at Valley Forge. However, many other people have also lived on the land that is now SERC’s campus. SERC purchased the house in 2008 and took ownership in 2010, and it served as the citizen science environmental archeology lab for several years. The house was rehabilitated in 2020 to serve as SERC’s exhibit space and to showcase the archeological finds discovered on campus and to tell the story of this place. SERC has opened the Woodlawn History Center, whose exhibit tells the story of the land and the many people who have lived on what is now SERC’s campus, and places this local history within the broader historical context.
About SERC Overall:

The Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) provides science-based knowledge to meet the environmental challenges of the 21st century. SERC leads research on coastal ecosystems—where the land meets the sea—to inform real-world decisions for wise policies, best business practices, and a sustainable planet.   Its 2,650-acre campus spans forests, wetlands, marshes and 12 miles of protected shoreline. The site serves as a natural laboratory for long-term and cutting-edge ecological research. The campus is open six days a week for hiking on several miles of trails and for kayak launches from the dock.  Other resources include historic structures and an education center.  Public programs include frequent lectures, education programs and an annual open house.

Trails and education grounds are open to the public Monday through Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Closed Sundays and federal holidays.

Telephone: (443) 482-2200
Address: 647 Contees Wharf Rd.
Edgewater, MD 21037

Virtual Experiences:

Do citizen science from your home, and help identify some of the bizarre life underwater. SERC’s scientists have relaunched InvaderID. Through Invader ID, you can help SERC track changes in fouling communities and look for new occurrences of invasive species.

Learn More on their Website:




African American Heritage, Native American Heritage, Preservation, The Chesapeake Bay, Virtual Experiences