Need another reason to loop through the Schoodic section of Acadia National Park in Winter Harbor, Maine? How about the Schoodic Education and Research Center, on the campus of the former Navy base within the park.
SERC is one of 20 research learning centers in the country. Its mission: “guide present and future generations to greater understanding and respect for nature by providing research and learning opportunities through its outstanding Acadia National Park setting, unique coastal Maine facilities, and innovative partnership programs.”
The goal is for SERC to become a “world-class research and learning institution, providing knowledge and transformational experiences necessary for harmony between humankind and the natural world.”
A core part of SERC’s mission is education, and it works with the park to present programs, including lectures programs, special events, and Ranger-led activities. Here’s the lecture schedule, but check the online calendar for current offerings and updates.
Wednesday, June 13: Karen James on Charles Darwin and the Beagle Project
Saturday, June 22: Artist-in-Residence Presentation
Thursday, July 12: Joe Lacasce on the Ocean and the Atmosphere
Wednesday, July 18: Tom Huntington on Climate Change in Maine
Wednesday, Aug. 15: Ivan Fernandez on Nitrogen Effects on Maine’s Forests
Saturday, Aug. 25: Tom Shepherd on Climate Change and Mitigation
All lectures are free (donations welcomed) and are held in Moore Auditorium on the SERC campus.
Maine Humorist Tim Sample will perform as a fund raiser for the Acadian Internship Program on Tues. Aug. 21, at 8 p.m., details to come.
SERC HISTORY: Maine native and Wall Street tycoon John G. Moore once owned most of the Schoodic Peninsula. After his death, his heirs donated the land to the Hancock Country Trustees of Public Reservations in the 1920s, with the stipulation that the land be used as a public park and for the “promotion of biological and other scientific research.” Seven years later, more than 2,000 acres of the peninsula was donated to the Acadia National Park.
At that time, John D. Rockefeller Jr. was working with the National Park Service to construct the Park Loop Road on Mount Desert Island. The U.S. Naval Radio Station on Otter Point was in the way, so Rockefeller helped the National Park Service work with the U.S. Navy to relocate the station to Schoodic Point. Five buildings, including Rockefeller Hall, a French Norman Revival-style mansion, now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, were constructed (now undergoing renovation to become house a welcome center and administrative offices). In 1935, the U. S. Naval Radio Station at Schoodic Point was commissioned.
The station expanded during World War II and the Cold War, and by the late 20th century, the 100-acre campus comprised more than 35 buildings and was home to 350 navy employees. When the station closed in 2002, the land was returned to the park for use as a research and education center. After a $10 million renovation to the campus, the Schoodic Education & Research Center Institute, also known as SERC, officially opened in 2011.