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Darren Milligan
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Senior Media Designer and Webmaster at the Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies
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Darren Milligan is now following The Typepad Team
Mar 15, 2010
At SITES, the Smithsonian's Traveling Exhibition Service, where I work as a writer/editor, we bring exhibitions to museums and venues all over the country. In fact, we've been packing and shipping art, science, and history exhibitions for more than 50 years. As a result, millions of people outside Washington, DC have been able to experience the amazing collections and research programs of the Smithsonian. Lately we've been working on ways to educate the public on green initiatives and climate change, and taking small but meaningful steps to try to reduce our own carbon footprint. For example we recently joined a... Continue reading
Madeline - you can learn more about the PETM, as well as try your hand at the research using an online interactive simulation here:
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Our second online conference, “Climate Change,” drew more than 3,700 participants in 82 countries and U.S. territories and in all 50 states. The three-day conference approached the subject from a myriad of Smithsonian disciplines, from wildlife management to paleontology to art history. Ten Smithsonian units took part, as well as such organizations as the National Science Foundation, GLOBE, and the Corporation for National and Community Service. The conference also served as a platform for encouraging positive action. Each day, during an afternoon “Response” session, presenters discussed such topics as student conservation and innovation. In addition, “Special Interest” presentations were devoted... Continue reading
Though the live Smithsonian Education Online Conference on Climate Change has come to an end, there are still ways to continue the conversation. Here are a few ways to start. Share your favorite moments with your friends and colleagues! Each session is archived and can be replayed at your convenience – Have any questions, comments, or findings that you want to share about a specific presentation or about a specific presenter? For instance, do you want to ask Scott Wing about leaf fossils in Wyoming? Or, are you curious to know more about Smithsonian research in Panama? Want to... Continue reading
I sat down with Ben Casterline a few hours before his internship at the National Museum of Natural History came to an end. He had been studying “paleoclimatology” while working with Smithsonian paleontologist Scott Wing. A fourth-year student at the University of Chicago majoring in biology and paleontology, Ben spent four weeks with Wing in Wyoming’s Bighorn Basin, quarrying for leaf fossils, digging trenches to measure stratification, and prospecting for new dig sites. In the Bighorn, rocks exposed at the surface represent a period of global warming known as the Paleocene Eocene Thermal Maximum, or PETM. (See "Going Behind the... Continue reading
My name is Carla Bitter and I am the new Chief of Outreach at Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History (NMMH). This is an incredibly exciting time to be a part of the technological transformation of our culture in terms of how people gather, share and experience science information. It is a great honor to be at the forefront of these strategic changes for our museum, for science, and for our understanding of the world around us. Most importantly, I am so pleased to be able to share the vision of NMNH regarding climate change as a driver in... Continue reading
As a new staff member at the Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies, I am just getting to know the resources it offers to teachers. I’ve learned, for example, that the publication Smithsonian in Your Classroom has been around since the bicentennial year of 1976. (It was then called Art to Zoo). The print version is mailed to elementary and middle school in the country; a PDF version is downloadable from It’s a great way for teachers to connect their students to the work of the Smithsonian—students who might never have an opportunity to set foot in a... Continue reading
Below is my latest list of climate change “finds.” This week I am including links to both Smithsonian and external resources that might be of interest to both educators and other conference participants. They include the Conference Hashtag for Twitter. Check out the conversation going on there! Remember, many of us will be tweeting throughout the live conference, so start following us to get ready! Conference Hashtag on Twitter - #SIClimate United Nations Environment Programme – "Paint for the Planet" A disaster simulation game from the UN/ISDR – "Stop Disasters" (For upper-level students or skilled game players, this complex game... Continue reading
I teach at a junior high school in Missouri and attended a Smithsonian Day event as the Missouri Teacher of the Year in 2008. I subsequently won the Smithsonian’s 2009 Increase Award for innovation in teaching teachers how to use Smithsonian resources. When I think about global warming, my thoughts turn to Glacier National Park in Montana. Our entire family spent about a week in the park in 1986, when I was 15, and the highlight was hiking to Grinnell Glacier. We walked on the glacier, felt the river of icy water melting beneath it, and marveled at the views... Continue reading
We receive mail at home and at work six days a week but rarely consider the impact the postal system has on humans and the environment. Figuring out the “greenest” way to get it there is a challenge that the US Postal Service (USPS) takes seriously. It’s also a challenge that the Smithsonian National Postal Museum turned over to a group of thirteen-year-olds. Continue reading
As a follow up to last week’s “Climate Change “Finds” of the Week” post, below is my latest list of climate change “finds.” This week I am including links to both Smithsonian and external resources that might be of interest to educators. They include the Philip Merrill Center, which I visited on a memorable field trip with my AP Environmental Science class during senior year of high school! What do you think? National Zoological Park, Migratory Bird Center – "Do Birds Make a Difference?” "Cool" School Challenge – Take the challenge! Global Change Research Program Educator Resource – “Climate Change... Continue reading
Looking at old photographs and seeing a younger self’s style choices often leads to a horrified “What was I thinking?!” Looking at your old publications can be much the same experience, but I was happily surprised and even proud when I recently reread Protest and Patriotism: A History of Dissent and Reform, which I developed at the Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies in 1992. Written in collaboration with Lonnie Bunch, then at the National Museum of American History and now the director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the guide offered new approaches to... Continue reading
One of the cool things about working on the upcoming conference is that every day my research unearths some pretty intriguing articles, exhibits, blogs, and other media related to climate change. Unsurprisingly, several come from the Smithsonian. I get the chance to share such items with colleagues in my office, but I also want to create posts here so others can check out these resources. Thus, below is a list of my favorite finds of the week. Smithsonian Science Blog - "Study aims to give endangered Shenandoah salamander better odds at survival" Smithsonian magazine's Surprising Science Blog - "Weather vs.... Continue reading