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Biogeography Branch: About Us

Biogeography Branch Fact Sheet

The Biogeography Branch conducts research, monitoring, mapping and assessments of the Nation’s marine ecosystems as a part of NOAA’s National Ocean Service (NOS), National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS), the Center for Coastal Monitoring and Assessment (CCMA).

The mission of the Biogeography Branch is to develop information and analytical capabilities through research, monitoring, and assessment on the distribution and ecology of living marine resources and their associated habitats for improved ecosystem management.

Activities of the Biogeography Branch focus on developing products, applications and processes for defining, mapping and interpreting the relationships of species distributions and their environments. Most of the Branch’s projects are done in cooperation with academic, state, federal and private sector partners.

Major theme area of study within the Biogeography Branch include:
  • Marine spatial planning for resource assessment
  • Marine biogeographic and ecological assessments
  • Coral reef ecosystem monitoring
  • Benthic habitat mapping of coastal and marine ecosystems
  • Reef fish ecology studies
  • Species' habitat suitability modeling using geographic information systems
  • Designing and evaluating the efficacy of Marine Protected Areas
  • Product dissemination, outreach and education

Staff of the Biogeography Branch are primarily located at NOAA’s CCMA, in Silver Spring, Maryland; additional staff are in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Hawaii, North Carolina, and Oxford, Maryland. To contact Biogeography staff, click here.

Our mailing address is:
NOAA’s Biogeography Branch,
1305 East West Highway, N/SCI1,
Silver Spring, MD 20910

Location and Directions

ssmc 4 noaa wavepoolThe NOAA Silver Spring Metro Center (SSMC) complex is located at the corner of Colesville Road and East-West Highway in downtown Silver Spring, MD. The Biogeography Branch office is located at 1305 East-West Highway in Building IV on the 9th floor (see maps below).

Biogeography Branch
1305 East West Highway
9th floor, N/SCI-1
Silver Spring, MD 20910
Phone: 301-713-3028x160

Security Check-in

  • All visitors need to check in at the security desk.
  • Please bring a valid photo ID and the name and phone number of the person you are coming to visit.

Arriving by Metro

  • Take the red line train toward Glenmont
  • Exit at Silver Spring station
  • From station, walk down (west or south) towards East-West Highway
  • Turn left onto East-West Highway, and walk up the hill; NOAA has five buildings in a row on the left side of East-West as you walk up the hill)
  • The Biogeography Branch is in the fourth building, 1305 East-West Hwy, 9th floor
  • Turn left just past 1305 at the garden/wavepool for main building entrance

If Driving

From the DC Beltway (I-495):

  • From I-495, take Georgia Avenue south (Exit 31B)
  • Follow Georgia Avenue to Colesville Road
  • Turn right on Colesville Road, and go past the Metro station and under the train bridge
  • Immediately after passing under the tracks, turn left on East-West Highway at traffic light
  • The SSMC complex will be on the left

From Baltimore (I-95 N):

  • From I-95, follow I-495 (W) towards Silver Spring, MD
  • Take Colesville Road exit (30B) to Silver Spring
  • Stay on Colesville Road through downtown Silver Spring
  • Turn left on East-West Highway after the Metro station

From the District of Columbia:

  • Follow 16th Street (N)
  • Turn right on Colesville Road (Route 29)
  • Turn right on East-West Highway
  • The SSMC complex will be on the left
  • Metered parking is available in the county garage under the NOAA buildings for a minimal fee (quarters only). *WARNING: Parking under the NOAA buildings is very limited between 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
  • Off-street, metered parking (quarters only) is available on surrounding streets if the garage is full.
Maps Map of Silver Spring Area

Map of Silver Spring Metro
map of silver spring metro

If you have questions about the Biogeography Branch or our work, please contact Chris Caldow, the Branch Chief, at (301) 713-3028 ext.164 or at .