Category Archives: SI

Smithsonian Institution

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:


An Evening with… Ed Yong

Monday, October 3, 2016 – 6:30pm

Natural History Museum

Event Location

Ground Floor, Baird Auditorium


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


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

6:00 PM – 7:30 PM
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.

Scholz: Climate Change & Human Origins @ NMNH

Christopher Scholz of Syracuse University will be speaking on “Climate Change and Human Origins: New Discoveries through Scientific Drilling in East Africa’s Great Rift Valley” at 4:00 p.m. on January 30 in the executive conference room (on the fourth floor; access through the glass elevator of the Atrium Café) of the National Museum of National History, 10th St. and Constitution Ave. NW in Washington DC.

A description of the talk: “The world’s large rift valley lakes, like those found in tropical Africa, contain thick accumulations of sediment dating back millions of years, and are among the best places on Earth for reconstructing and studying past climates. Dr.

Christopher Scholz, Professor of Earth Sciences at Syracuse University, discusses his climate research in East Africa’s Great Rift Valley and its implications for understanding the environmental background to human origins.”

The event is free and open to the public. For further information, visit:

Smithsonian internships & a post-doc

The Smithsonian Museum Conservation Institute has several upcoming undergraduate internships and a post-doc opportunity for 2013.  Please circulate to anyone that might be interested.  Contact and application information can be found in the links and descriptions below.

2013Smithsonian Museum Conservation Institute Analytical Studies Group Intern Program
Supported by NSF REU Sites Program
Application deadline February 25, 2013.
The Smithsonian Museum Conservation Institute in conjunction with the NSF REU Sites Program is offering short-term opportunities for undergraduates to work on research projects with staff members of its technical studies and research group.  The Smithsonian’s Museum Conservation Institute (MCI) is the center for specialized technical collections research and conservation for all Smithsonian museums, collections, and research centers.  MCI combines state-of-the-art instrumentation and scientific techniques to provide technical research and characterization of objects.
Internships will take place during the summer of 2013.  Applicants must be currently enrolled as an undergraduate in a university program or scheduled to matriculate in the fall of 2013.  Acceptable majors include, but are not limited to:  museum studies, art history, archaeology, paleontology, chemistry, biochemistry, biology, ecology, earth science, chemical engineering, and materials science engineering.  Basic chemistry and mathematical coursework is preferred; laboratory experience is not required.  Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents.  A stipend will be offered for a period of 10 weeks starting in late May or early June 2013.
Application information and details about specific projects can be found at the link above.  Application deadline is February 25, 2013.

2013 Interdisciplinary Post-doc Fellowship in Stable Isotope Mass Spectrometry.
Application deadline January 15, 2013.
The Smithsonian Office of Fellowships is offering an Interdisciplinary Postdoctoral Fellowship in the area of stable isotope sciences. Research proposals must integrate the use of stable isotopes (2H/1H, 13C/12C, 15N/14N, and 18O/16O) into their specific research questions. Stable isotope analysis must comprise a significant portion of the research. The successful applicant will conduct analyses at one of the two Pan-Institutional isotope facilities (OUSS/MCI Stable Isotope Mass Spectrometry Facility in Suitland, MD or at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Panama City, Panama). Applicants interested in this fellowship are strongly encouraged to contact potential advisors/hosts at any of the Smithsonian’s various Museums and Research Units prior to proposal preparation and submission. Prior Isotope Fellows are not eligible. Please consult the research staff listed for the Museum, Research Units, and Offices at the links to Smithsonian Opportunities for Research and Study below.
Applicants must propose to conduct research in-residence for a period of 12 months, at least 4 months of which will be spent on-site at the MCI or STRI laboratory. Applicants must have completed or be near completion of the Ph.D. Recipients who have not completed the Ph.D. at the time of application must provide proof of completion of the degree before the fellowship begins. Please go to for details on the SI fellowship program. Applications must be submitted by Jan 15, 2013. Access to the online application system and information regarding the necessary materials can be found at