Space-like chambers deliver the wetlands of a warmer world

By Mollie McNeel Medill Reports Wetlands are typically filled with the sounds of crickets chirping, bees buzzing and frogs croaking. But at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) in Maryland, those are all accompanied by the whirring of motor-powered pumps. The pumps drive air from hexagonal carbon dioxide chambers to a greenhouse gas analyzer, helping […]

Is Your Plant Dead or Just Dormant?

Mollie McNeel Medill Reports If a gardener tells you that their plants had died and now have come back to life years later, you might think they’ve gone crazy. But actually, they may be on to something. Some fully-grown plants can “hibernate” in the soil for up to 20 years, researchers from the Smithsonian Environmental […]

Getting to know sharks one tag at a time

Mollie McNeel Medill Reports Sharks. They’re everyone’s favorite underwater enemy. Between nerve-wracking drama’s like Jaws to stories about prehistoric mega-sharks, we have all but made the shark species a completely fictionalized being. But, scientists at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center in Edgewater, Maryland, are changing that one tag at a time. May 14, 2018—Our shark […]

The hunt for the return of the river herring

Medill News Service journalist Mollie McNeel is writing a series of stories from  embedded reporting with field researchers for the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center in Maryland.   By Mollie McNeel Medill Reports May 9, Potapsco River, Maryland. – I am out here standing waist deep in the middle of a roaring river, straddling a net […]

Uncovering the past at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center

Mollie McNeel Medill Reports Travel about an hour southeast of Baltimore and you’ll end up in a small Maryland town called Edgewater. Keep driving past the city limits and you’ll see a brown sign on the side of the road indicating that somewhere in the thick forrest to your left is the Smithsonian Environmental Research […]