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Marine Science Network

Marine Science Network

The Smithsonian Marine Science Network (MSN) was established in 1998. The MSN operates a unique array of laboratories and research vessels that spans the latitudinal gradient of the western Atlantic (Chesapeake Bay, Indian River Lagoon, Mesoamerican Barrier Reef and Panamanian Coast) and crosses the isthmus of Panama. The Network is dedicated to understanding the rich biodiversity and complex ecosystem dynamics that sustain coastal processes and productivity. MSN scientists study evolutionary, ecological, and environmental change in the ocean’s coastal zones, increasing scientific knowledge of these environments, and improving society’s appreciation of the ocean’s effect on our lives.

Coastal environments are of immense economic and environmental importance and comprise 95% of the ocean’s fisheries. Our coasts are the most densely populated and fastest growing communities in the U.S. The MSN ensures integrated support of “Understanding and Sustaining a Biodiverse Planet,” a core Smithsonian grand challenge. MSN goals are to ensure that the whole of the integrated Network is larger than the sum of its parts leading to enhanced productivity through collaborative and comparative research, marine infrastructure development and support, professional training and outreach, and effective allocation of resources.

Overview of Marine Science Network

Caribbean Coral Reef Ecosystems Program
National Museum of Natural History
National Zoological Park
Smithsonian Environmental Research Center
Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute









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