The Smithsonian Marine Science Symposium was held on 15?16 November 2007 in Washington, D.C. It represented the first major dissemination of marine research results since the establishment of the Smithsonian Marine Science Network (MSN). The 39 papers in this volume represent a wide range of marine research studies that demonstrate the breadth and diversity of science initiatives supported by the MSN. The first section contains an overview of the MSN along with papers describing the multidisciplinary investigations spanning more than 37 years for the four Smithsonian marine facilities that constitute the Network: the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center at the Chesapeake Bay, Maryland; the National Museum of Natural History?s Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce, Florida; the Caribbean Coral Reef Ecosystems Program, with its Carrie Bow Marine Field Station in Belize; and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama. Subsequent papers represent findings by Smithsonian scholars and their collaborators on overarching topics of marine biodiversity, evolution, and speciation; biogeography, invasive species, and marine conservation; and forces of ecological change in marine systems.