SERC Volunteers, by Strauss, Richard, 1990, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, Volunteers Brenda Chapin, left, Ed Grimes and Gretchen Seilstad pose aboard the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center's (SERC) research vessel, the Robert Lee Forrest. Assisting in the study of physical, chemical and biological interactions in estuarine and water-shed systems, SERC volunteers can find projects at dockside, on the water or in the woods surrounding the center. Chapin and Seilstad have worked on many forest projects such as a forest-mapping project. Grimes captains the SERC's research vessel "Robert Lee Forrest", helps with dock activities, and guides groups on woodland walks..