The Smithsonian Establishes a Research Center

Java Farm was quite a mess when the Smithsonian took ownership. Many years of neglect and frequent vandalism from weekend partying had destroyed most of the buildings. Power lines were cut down, and the copper wire and conductors stolen.

Originally, the Smithsonian planned to sell the property to increase the Institution's endowment. However, a committee of scientists, including former director, Dr. Dave Correll, viewed the farm and saw the property's potential for terrestrial, wetland, and estuarine field biology. Thus, in 1965 the Chesapeake Bay Center for Field Biology was formally established on Java Farm. Later, the name was changed to the Chesapeake Bay Center for Environmental Studies and then again to its present name, the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. Over the years SERC acquired additional land and easements. Its holdings now total over 2600 acres in the Rhode River watershed.

There is a great variety of research carried out by the scientists at SERC. More about SERC research.