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  Facilities and Resources

About Research Site

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SERC Facilities and Resources

General Facilities SERC Branch of Smithsonian Institution Libraries
Computer Facilities and Service Vehicles
Research Vessels SCUBA Diving
Geographic Information Systems: Spatial Analysis and Ecological Modeling Facility


Conference and Meeting Facilities

Research facilities
SERC's general facilities include: a 34,000 square foot laboratory and office building; a 5,000 square foot shop equipped for precision machining, woodworking, and mechanical repairs; specialized storage and office buildings; a 6,200 square foot conference and dormitory center; a fleet of vehicles for field work; and a 1,600 square foot library operated for SERC by the Smithsonian Institution Libraries. SERC has a private dock providing access to the Rhode River and mainstem of the Chesapeake Bay, with a wet lab adjacent to the dock.

SERC owns or controls over 1000 ha of the Rhode River watershed; specialized field laboratories for research are situated in their prime investigative landscape.

These include:

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SERC Branch of Smithsonian Institution Libraries:
SERC Branch library is one of the twenty branches in the Smithsonian Institution Libraries system. It supports both education and research at SERC in both the laboratory and the field, with collections of books and periodicals in global change, environmental biology, estuarine land/water interactions, landscape ecology, the dynamics of terrestrial and aquatic biological populations, and environmental education.

The library houses a collection of approximately 12,500 monographs and bound journals, and approximately 110 current journal subscriptions. All monographic materials (including a substantial percentage of grey literature) related to the Chesapeake Bay and its surrounding areas comprise a separate "Chesapeakiana" collection. The Smithsonian Institution Libraries homepage, packed with informative links, can be found at http://www.sil.si.edu and the SERC Branch homepage at http://www.sil.si.edu/Libraries/serc

Most materials are in hardcopy format, though, increasingly, journals' back issues and dissertations are being collected in film or fiche formats. Appropriate videos and monographs accompanied by CDs are also collected.

The library staff provides reference services (including intralibrary and interlibrary loans) and consultation in the use of the online catalog and remote databases and employs all appropriate technologies for finding and disseminating information in response to queries from Smithsonian scientists, scholars, and staff as well as others with research needs. The SI Library also features a Tools for the Researcher page.

For more information, contact Angela Haggins, our branch librarian, or call 443.482.2273.

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Computer facilities and services:
SERC's computer facilities include a 100-MB network, linking all office, visitor, and laboratory facilities, as well as two data collection sites, on the main campus. A DS3, and backup T1s, provide connection to internet through the Smithsonian Institution's main campus. Central Windows 2000 servers support file and print services, data storage and backup, e-mail, calendaring, and web services.

Nearly 200 workstations, including perhaps ten Macintoshes, are connected to these services. Fourteen black and white printers (many with 2-sided capability), three color laser printers (with 2-sided capability), and a large-format plotter for maps and posters are available, on the network. Most computer equipment is replaced on a four-year cycle. The Computer Center includes three workstations that include capabilities such as flatbed scanning, slide scanning and CD mastering. One of these is specially equipped for image processing. A server, dedicated to storage and organization of images will be installed soon.

Concurrent user licenses allow SERC researchers to use Absoft C and Fortran; SigmaPlot; and ProCite as needed free of charge. A limited number of PC SAS and Systat licenses are assigned on request. SI site licenses provide access to all modules of ESRI ArcGIS Geographic Information System software and Leica's Geosystems ERDAS Imagine Professional Image Analysis and Remote Sensing. Unlimited site licenses allow all staff to install the current Microsoft Windows Operating System and Microsoft Office.

For more information, contact Suzan Gunsalus, 443-482-2220.

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Geographic Information Systems: Spatial analysis and ecological modeling facility
Since much of our research involves modeling and geospatial analysis, we have a fully-equipped geographic information systems facility.

For acquiring data, we can use a Motorola LGT1000 hand held GPS system, or a georesearch vehicle-based GPS system with GeoLink software, and a CSI receiver for real-time differential correction of GPS using Coast Guard beacons.

For laboratory analysis, our main server is a WindowsNT server with 18GB disk space 8mm tape supporting: ArcInfo GIS software (with GRID module for raster modeling and TIN module for surface modeling) and ArcPress for map composition, ArcView Desktop GIS system with Spatial Analyst; and ERDAS Imagine Professional Software for Remote Sensing and Image Analysis.

We have six WindowsNT workstations configured for spatial analysis.

To produce maps and presentations, we use a Calcomp digitizing tablet and a Hewlett Packard 650C large format color plotter.

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SERC has a variety of vehicles available for field use both on and off of our research site. Contact the facilities manager, Jeffrey Ridgeway, for more information. 443.482.2464

Research Vessels:
SERC has a fleet of research vessels and small open boats for research and education programs on the Chesapeake Bay and tributaries.  Schedule and charter information may be obtained from Sam Benson. 443-482-2454. 

SERC Research Fleet
            R/V SERC
            Small Boats






Visiting scientists who need to SCUBA dive for their research should contact the SERC Diving Safety Officer at least 4 weeks prior to anticipated dive date.  See the Smithsonian Scientific Diving Program web site for more information on the requirements for diving at SERC..

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A range of accommodations is usually available on campus.  If interested, please contact the SERC Housing Coordinator, Lauren Nuzzi, for details on avilability and current costs.

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Conference and meeting information:
SERC has limited facilities available for meetings and conferences of Smithsonian groups and some groups engaged in certain environmental science or environmental education activities. For more information, please contact the Director's office, 443.482.2400.

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