Category Archives: SI

Smithsonian Institution

Peter Brannen at NMNH on mass extinctions

An Evening with Peter Brannen: Envisioning the Future by Unlocking Earth’s Past

Date:
Tuesday, September 26, 2017
Time:
6:30 PM – 8:10 PM
Location:
Baird Auditorium, Ground Floor, National Museum of Natural History
10th St. and Constitution Ave. N.W.
Washington, DC 20013

The National Museum of Natural History invites you to attend an evening with award-winning science journalist, Peter Brannen. Using fossils and the Earth’s deep geological record, Brannen will explore groundbreaking research to broaden views on climate change and the role climate played in the most extreme catastrophes in the planet’s history.

Afterward, in a conversation with Kirk Johnson, Sant Director of the National Museum of Natural History, Brannen will discuss his new book, The Ends of the World. He will reveal how understanding the planet’s five mass extinctions can offer us a glimpse of our future and ask, “Are we on the brink of a sixth?”

The Ends of the World will be available for purchase and signing after the program.

This program was made possible through the generous support of David M. Rubenstein and is part of the An Evening With… signature series featuring thought leaders in conversation with paleontologist and Sant Director of the National Museum of Natural History, Kirk Johnson. 

This program is also part of the Deep Time Initiative, the Museum’s effort to lead the public on a dynamic journey through Earth’s 4.6-billion-year history to understand how our planet’s deep past connects to the present and our future.

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NOVA Science Seminar: SI’s Leslie on Rorqual Whales via drones, DNA, & fossils

All Faculty, Staff, and Students are cordially invited to a Science Seminar

Friday, September 29, 2017
CE Building, Forum
12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m.

Matthew S. Leslie
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, National Museum of Natural History (Smithsonian Institution)

Presents:

“Integrating DNA, Drones, and Fossils to Clarify Relationships Among Rorqual Whales”

Abstract: The systematic relationships among the lunge-feeding whales (rorquals; family Balaenopteridae) have been difficult to resolve, resulting in a history of taxonomic confusion. I am approaching this problematic group using a combination of traditional taxonomy and cutting-edge research techniques. I am integrating DNA sequencing of Ultra-Conserved Elements for molecular systematics, morphological examination and re-description of a Miocene rorqual for anchoring early divergence dates, and pioneering the use of drones to test subspecific relationships within blue whales. This presentation will provide highlights and updates on these ongoing initiatives aimed at the resolution of evolutionary relationships among rorqual whales.

Bio: Dr. Leslie uses emerging technology, natural history collections, field research, and genetics to describe marine mammal diversity for conservation management decisions. Currently he focuses on elucidating the evolutionary relationships of balaenopterid whales using skulls, DNA, and drones. In addition to research, Dr. Leslie strives to inspire others to fall in love with Earth’s wildlife and wild places through teaching and public education.
Education: Ph.D. Scripps Institution of Oceanography, 2016; M.S. Scripps Institution of Oceanography, 2011

For upcoming seminars and further information on the NOVA Seminar Series visit https://blogs.nvcc.edu/scienceseminar/

Q?Rius panel discussion on religion and evolution in the classroom

Religious Audiences and the Topic of Evolution: Lessons from the Classroom, a panel discussion taking place from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on April 30 in the Q?Rius Theater on the ground floor of the National Museum of Natural History, 10th St. & Constitution Ave. NW in Washington DC.

A description of the event: “Jamie Jensen, Associate Professor of Biology at Brigham Young University, will discuss the intersection of faith and science in the undergraduate classroom. She will give an overview of the current state of major religious groups on the acceptance of evolution and then offer a 30-year longitudinal view of the transition toward higher acceptance amongst members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (i.e., the ‘Mormons’). Jensen will describe a classroom intervention geared toward offering students a ‘road to reconciliation’ between science and religion, and show its dramatic effects on students’ acceptance of evolution amongst highly religious Christian students. How might this lesson learned transfer into other classrooms and broader audiences across the United States?”

Discussants will be Betty W. Holley, Wes McCoy, Lee Meadows, and Briana Pobiner; the panel will be moderated by Connie Bertka.

The event is free and open to the public, with no advance reservation or ticket required. For further information, visit:

http://humanorigins.si.edu/about/events/religious-audiences-and-topic-evolution-lessons-classroom-panel-discussion

An Evening with… Ed Yong

http://qrius.si.edu/visit/event/evening-ed-yong#.V-wFo8lSWNo

When
Monday, October 3, 2016 – 6:30pm
Venue

Natural History Museum

Event Location

Ground Floor, Baird Auditorium

Cost

Free, but registration is required: click here to register.

Description

The National Museum of Natural History invites you to attend a special evening with award-winning science writer, Ed Yong. Yong will take you on a grand tour through the animal kingdom, from squids to aphids to deep-sea worms, as he speaks about his new book, I Contain Multitudes. In a conversation with Kirk Johnson, Sant Director of the National Museum of Natural History, Yong will reveal how microbes build animal bodies, affect their evolutionary opportunities, and might be manipulated.  He will make you question everything you think you know about natural history! I Contain Multitudes will be available for purchase and signing after the program. This program is part of the An Evening With… signature series featuring cutting-edge thought leaders in conversation with paleontologist and Sant Director of the National Museum of Natural History, Kirk Johnson. Image courtesy of Ed Yong.

Ocean Film Showcase @ NMNH Sept. 10

The National Museum of Natural History, the U.S. Department of State, the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival, the D.C. Environmental Film Festival, and BLUE Ocean Film Festival would like to invite you to the Our Ocean Film Showcase at the National Museum of Natural History on September 10th.

Organized in conjunction with the international Our Ocean conference that will be hosted by Secretary John Kerry in Washington in September, this showcase will feature a curated selection of ocean-related documentary films and include panel discussions with prominent figures including National Geographic Explorers-in-Residence Dr. Sylvia Earle and Dr. Enric Sala, and State Department’s Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment Cathy Novelli. The showcase aims to look at the state of our ocean environment.

Please find the RSVP below. We kindly ask that you share this with your distribution networks.

Our Ocean Film Showcase – Film Festival and Discussions

September 10, All-Day 
Baird Auditorium, Ground Floor
National Museum of Natural History

Life on Earth depends on the ocean.  A healthy ocean is central to human wellbeing.  The ocean feeds billions of people, employs millions of workers, and generates trillions of dollars in the world economy.

Yet, as vast as our ocean and its resources are, they are not infinite.  And today the ocean is under tremendous pressure from human activity – including unsustainable and illegal fishing, marine pollution, and climate-related impacts.

The Our Ocean Film Showcase will feature a curated selection of thought-provoking ocean documentary films and include panel discussions with filmmakers and leading figures who are working to better understand how to sustain a healthy ocean.


RSVP for this event»

 

PSW: The Coal Age

The Paleontological Society of Washington

Wednesday, February 18, 7:00 pm, in the Cooper room (E-207A), National Museum of Natural History, Constitutional Ave. entrance

The Coal Age — Reality, Imagination, the Search for Truth and Relevance

William DiMichele, Curator of Fossil Plants, NMNH

In this talk, we will travel back to the Carboniferous, or the “Coal Age as it is commonly called, often depicted as a vast steaming jungle of asparagus-like scale trees, giant horsetails and fern-like plants. In reality, the Carboniferous tropics were complex and dynamic, marked by broad environmental swings reflecting glacial-interglacial oscillations. Wetlands dominated the glacials transitioning to dryland forests during the interglacials, during which wetlands were reduced to refugia. Thus, the Carboniferous was both a strange and strangely familiar world with a different biota, different land masses, but climate patterns much like today. We will consider what all this means for our understanding of what this world might have looked like and what it can tell us about today.

Non-Smithsonian visitors will be escorted to the Cooper Room at 6:30 and 6:55 p.m. Society members will host the speaker for dinner at the Elephant & Castle (1201 Pennsylvania Ave.) prior to the meeting. Members may meet at the restaurant or inside the Constitutional Ave. entrance of the NMNH at 5:00 and walk to the restaurant as a group.

Tracking Human Influences at NMNH

Tracking Human Influences

Date:
Time:
6:00 PM – 7:30 PM
Location:
Q?rius Theater
Ground floor, National Museum of Natural History
10th St. and Constitution Ave. N.W.
Washington, DC 20001
United States
featuring Torben Rick, Curator of North American Archaeology, National Museum of Natural History 

How does studying our past impact our actions of the future? What clues lie in Earth’s history to help guide environmental conservation, restoration, and management efforts today?

Dr. Torben Rick looks back over thousands of years to see how humans influenced the West Coast (Channel Islands) and East Coast (Chesapeake Bay). Using radiocarbon-dating of bones, DNA analysis, and other techniques, he tackles elusive questions such as how foxes arrived in the Channel Islands and how changing environmental conditions interacted with human lifestyles to shape the biodiversity of the islands. Find out how archaeological information can help manage island ecosystems today.
Part of the monthly Anthropocene: Life in the Age of Humans series hosted by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History.