Research Learning Center

Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park partners with the National Park Service to manage the Schoodic Education and Research Center – the name of our partnership as one of 18 National Park Service “Research Learning Centers” across the nation.

Research Learning Centers vary widely in their scope and their focus, but all are National Park Service partnerships dedicated to increasing the effectiveness and communication of research in the national parks.

No other Research Learning Center has a physical campus that compares to Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park, but many have some laboratories, work spaces, and housing for researchers and students. Others are virtual, with no physical facilities, and consist of web portals with research databases, educational materials, and multimedia presentations on scientific topics.

The network of Research Learning Centers provides a peer group for Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park, and opportunities for collaboration to improve our work.  Read more about Research Learning Centers here.

Schoodic Education and Research Center Campus


A major responsibility of Schoodic Institute is managing the Acadia National Park-owned Schoodic Education and Research Center campus and helping to realize the vision of its becoming both a world-class science and education center for the Park and an intellectual and economic driver of activity in eastern Maine.

The campus is the renovated and upgraded former Naval Security Group Activity, Winter Harbor base.  The U.S. Naval Radio Station at Schoodic Point was commissioned in 1935 and gradually expanded to meet the demands of World War II and the Cold War.  By the 1990s, the renamed Naval Security Group Activity Winter Harbor at Schoodic Point consisted of more than 35 buildings and 350 navy personnel.  In 2002, the U.S. Navy closed the base and returned the land to Acadia National Park for use as a research and education center.

Replacing the Navy’s economic benefits to the region was an important consideration upon the Naval Security Group Activity’s closing, its conversion to the Schoodic Education and Research Center campus, and the creation of Schoodic Institute. As Schoodic Institute increasingly capitalizes on the potential of its programs and its location, these economic benefits are being realized. This modern campus, sited in a place extraordinary for its scenic beauty as well as its forest and oceanic heritage, is located in one of the most inspirational natural settings in the country.

The Schoodic Education and Research Center campus offers housing and meals for students, researchers, groups, and conferences; classrooms; laboratories; and a modern 124-seat auditorium. Located within the Schoodic District of Acadia National Park, it offers immediate access to that part of Acadia for research, education, and recreation.  The site has been dramatically transformed from the former Navy base into an attractive walking campus.  Imagine a small college campus at the tip of Schoodic Point, and you’ll be close to envisioning the facilities we have available.

Visitors to the area can stop to ask questions or use the restroom at the gatehouse, or continue to the historic Rockefeller Hall and explore the Welcome Center exhibits.  The Welcome Center is typically open 7 days a week, 10 am to 4 pm, from Memorial Day to Columbus Day, and is open most weekdays throughout the winter months.

Learn more about programs and opportunities on campus in the “What We Offer” section of this website, or explore our conference facilities page if you’re considering planning an event, conference, or meeting here.


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