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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
Washington DC
We inspire curiosity, discovery, and learning about nature and culture through outstanding research, collections, exhibitions, and education. Comment policy: http://www.si.edu/Termsofuse
Recent Activity
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From Plant Press, Vol. 22, No. 1, January 2019. Walter & Karen Adey aboard the research vessel Alca i Karen Adey, producer and executive producer of more than a hundred Smithsonian films, passed away on December 29, 2018. Wife of Research Botanist Emeritus, Walter Adey, she has spent the past... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at The Plant Press
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From Plant Press, Vol. 22, No. 1, January 2019. By Julia Beros “It was a good story while it lasted,” he chortled while shuffling the lichen Type folders back into their cabinet shelf. From the cabinet marked “SAG - SAZ,” and no sight of the elusive Santessonia. He tapped the... Continue reading
Posted Mar 12, 2019 at The Plant Press
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Imagine you’re in the car on a rainy day looking out the window. What do you see? Then, pull your focus back to window itself and the raindrops beading up. Now what do you see? An entirely new world, right? Smaller, but a world just the same, individual droplets all... Continue reading
Posted Mar 8, 2019 at No Bones
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From Plant Press, Vol. 22, No. 1, January 2019. After three years of production, the Department of Botany is excited to announce that the Botany Digitization Conveyor Belt has reached 2 million scans of botanical specimens this December 2018. This number also coincides with the transcription of 1.5 million conveyor... Continue reading
Posted Mar 7, 2019 at The Plant Press
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The Paleontological Society of Washington 7:00 pm, Wednesday, March 20 National Museum of Natural History, Constitution Ave. entrance 1. New developments in our studies on amber and plant exudates Jorge Santiago-Blay Resident Research Associate, Paleobiology, NMNH 2. How a Family is Unearthing Amber Online and Helping Scientists Discover New Species... Continue reading
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From Plant Press, Vol. 22, No. 1, January 2019. The National Museum of Natural History has launched a new website at https://naturalhistory.si.edu/. The new visitor-focused site works on both desktop and mobile screens, integrates with multiple Smithsonian-wide systems, and has improved accessibility and adherence to current accessibility standards and requirements.... Continue reading
Posted Mar 4, 2019 at The Plant Press
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From Plant Press, Vol. 22, No. 1, January 2019. By Pamela Tuchscherer Retired teacher and Department of Invertebrate Zoology volunteer Pamela Tuchscherer explores her experiences attending the Smithsonian Botanical Symposium, “Plants in the Past: Fossils and the Future,” which convened at the National Museum of Natural History in May 2018.... Continue reading
Posted Feb 28, 2019 at The Plant Press
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From Plant Press, Vol. 22, No. 1, January 2019. The National Museum of Natural History presented the 2018 Peer Recognition Awards on December 11. Award recipients are individuals and teams who have given their time and talent to the museum above and beyond what their jobs call for, and to... Continue reading
Posted Feb 26, 2019 at The Plant Press
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From Plant Press, Vol. 22, No. 1, January 2019. The Department of Botany and the United States Botanic Garden will convene the 2019 Smithsonian Botanical Symposium, “What Darwin Couldn't Know: Modern Perspectives on Crop Plant Origins,” to be held at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., on... Continue reading
Posted Feb 22, 2019 at The Plant Press
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From Plant Press, Vol. 22, No. 1, January 2019. The staff of Smithsonian’s Office of Facility Management and Reliability works to maintain, repair, and service the historic buildings and grounds of the Smithsonian Institution. Supporting the Department of Botany are LeAnthony Bennett (Supervisor), Jose B. Lobo, Nataya Ross, Keith Pollard,... Continue reading
Posted Feb 19, 2019 at The Plant Press
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From Plant Press, Vol. 22, No. 1, January 2019. After 21 years in print, The Plant Press has a new look. The partial U.S. federal government shutdown delayed the release of this issue, and most of the content was prepared before the shutdown began. The staff of the Department of... Continue reading
Posted Feb 15, 2019 at The Plant Press
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By Lotte Govaerts and J. Daniel Rogers Although we haven’t been very active on our blog or our Twitter, we have been pretty busy these past few months, both in and out of the lab (mostly out of the lab during the month of January, because the government shutdown closed... Continue reading
Posted Feb 14, 2019 at Rogers Archaeology Lab
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FromPlant Press, Vol. 6, No. 2 from April 2003. By Robert DeFilipps On 28-29 March, an enthusiastic group of scientists convened in the National Museum of Natural History in order to take the temperature and feel the pulse of modern Southeast Asian botany. They found the subject to be in... Continue reading
Posted Feb 13, 2019 at The Plant Press
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From Plant Press, Vol. 22, No. 1, January 2019. By Kathryn Picard Historically, asexuality has been seen by evolutionary biologists as a short-term solution to a long-term problem, with any temporary competitive advantages derived from eschewing sex eventually overshadowed by the absence of mechanisms to increase genotypic diversity. Yet, despite... Continue reading
Posted Feb 13, 2019 at The Plant Press
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The Paleontological Society of Washington 7:00 pm, Wednesday, February 20 National Museum of Natural History, Constitution Ave. entrance Using the Paleobiology Database for research and outreach: Examples from marine mammals Mark D. Uhen Associate Professor & Associate Chair, George Mason University The Paleobiology Database (PBDB: paleobiodb.org) is an open resource... Continue reading
Posted Jan 31, 2019 at Paleontological Society of Washington
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From Plant Press, Vol. 21, No. 4, October 2018. Smithsonian botanists have trained a deep learning model to identify fern genera of specimens on herbarium sheets with an average of 90.5 percent accuracy (see cover story in this issue of The Plant Press). For the genus Trichomanes, the model is... Continue reading
Posted Dec 27, 2018 at The Plant Press
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From Plant Press, Vol. 21, No. 4, October 2018. As the Department of Botany approaches digitizing its 2 millionth specimen later this year, it’s worth noting some important numbers and figures in its effort to digitize the United States National Herbarium’s collection of nearly 5 million specimens. 9 The number... Continue reading
Posted Dec 19, 2018 at The Plant Press
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From Plant Press, Vol. 21, No. 4, October 2018. By Nora Frankel Plants have always been an integral part of human material history. This may be no surprise to a botanist, but for me, it is sometimes still a revelation. As a conservator, it is my job to understand the... Continue reading
Posted Dec 13, 2018 at The Plant Press
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From Plant Press, Vol. 21, No. 4, October 2018. The curators of the Department of Botany have many responsibilities, primarily independent research on plant taxonomy and systematics and the responsible care and interpretation of specimens within the collection of the U.S. National Herbarium. Often, curators take on additional roles. Currently... Continue reading
Posted Dec 10, 2018 at The Plant Press
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From Plant Press, Vol. 21, No. 4, October 2018. A metalpoint drawing of Rosa carolina by Kandy Phillips. The drawing was inspired by the poems of Emily Dickinson. A selection of metalpoint drawings by local artist Kandy Vermeer Phillips will be on display beginning October 10 outside the Department of... Continue reading
Posted Dec 4, 2018 at The Plant Press
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From Plant Press, Vol. 21, No. 4, October 2018. For some time plant specimens in the U.S. National Herbarium have been mysteriously moving from one case to another. Sometimes the event would happen early in the morning, other times it would happen over the weekend. Whole plant families would simply... Continue reading
Posted Nov 29, 2018 at The Plant Press
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From Plant Press, Vol. 21, No. 4, October 2018. Israel Lopes da Cunha Neto, a doctoral student from the University of São Paulo, Brazil, is a recipient of a 2018 Jose Cuatrecasas Travel Award. He visited the US National Herbarium in August to work on his project, “Diversity and evolution... Continue reading
Posted Nov 26, 2018 at The Plant Press
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From Plant Press, Vol. 21, No. 4, October 2018. Department of Botany intern Fiona Miller from Smith College worked with Vicki Funk during the summer of 2018. During her 10 weeks at NMNH she contributed to the Smithsonian Women in Science project (part of the Smithsonian’s American Women’s History Initiative... Continue reading
Posted Nov 20, 2018 at The Plant Press
From Plant Press, Vol. 21, No. 4, October 2018. On 1 August, Liz Zimmer, W. Carl Taylor, Peter Schafran, Destiny Waag, Shruti Dube, Erika Gardner, Steven Canty. Julia Steier, and Fiona Miller worked with Gabriel Johnson to lead an introductory botany class to a group of 21 local high school... Continue reading
Posted Nov 19, 2018 at The Plant Press
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From Plant Press, Vol. 21, No. 4, October 2018. Adapted from ASPT News Blog The American Society of Plant Taxonomists (ASPT) has selected Vicki Funk as its 2018 Asa Gray Award recipient. The prestigious award—named after arguably the most influential North American Botanist of the 19th century—recognizes lifetime achievement in... Continue reading
Posted Nov 15, 2018 at The Plant Press