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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

Science & Nature Programs

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, May 12, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. ET

The human mind is very good at discerning patterns in nature: shapes, symmetries, repetitions. But why? A geologist decodes some of nature’s formations—from prosaic to sublime—to provide a better understanding of our ability for pattern recognition.

Course
Saturday, May 15, 2021 - 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. ET

Cutting-edge ecotourism companies are  pioneering small-group safaris to new destinations that offer unique wildlife encounters for adventurous travelers. Join wilderness guide and wildlife photographer Russell Gammon for a series of virtual safaris to hidden corners of Africa, Asia, and South America in search of some of the rarest and most iconic creatures on the planet.

Course
Sunday, May 16, 2021 - 1:30 p.m. ET

The Great Horned Owl is found in every state except Hawaii and in almost every habitat. In a series of talks rich in audio clips, photos, and video, naturalist Mark H.X. Glenshaw presents another in-depth study of this magnificent creature. This session focuses on the owl's hunting and feeding habits.

Lecture/Seminar
Monday, May 17, 2021 - 7:00 p.m. ET

The vast Pacific Ring of Fire, where tectonic collisions drive the majority of our planet’s earthquakes and volcanoes, is a hotspot for world travelers. Join volcanologist Kirt Kempter as he leads a journey across seven regions of the Ring of Fire, exploring their distinctive geologic settings, and using maps, dramatic photos, and Google Earth flyovers to bring the destinations to life. This session showcases Japan.

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, May 18, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. ET

The National Museum of Natural History’s magnificent gems represent a glittering intersection of natural science, human history, culture, romance, artistic skill, and creativity—set against the allure of immense value and awesome beauty. Jeffrey Post, curator of the U.S. National Gem and Mineral Collection, reveals the scandals, mysteries, and human stories behind some of the world’s most famous gems.

Tour
Thursday, May 20, 2021 - 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.

The Great Falls of the Potomac is the most magnificent natural landmark in the metropolitan Washington area. Rise early on a crisp spring morning, avoid the crowds, and enjoy a socially distanced, small-group experience in the great outdoors with naturalist Keith Tomlinson.

Lecture/Seminar
Monday, May 24, 2021 - 7:00 p.m. ET

The vast Pacific Ring of Fire, where tectonic collisions drive the majority of our planet’s earthquakes and volcanoes, is a hotspot for world travelers. Join volcanologist Kirt Kempter as he leads a journey across seven regions of the Ring of Fire, exploring their distinctive geologic settings, and using maps, dramatic photos, and Google Earth flyovers to bring the destinations to life. This session showcases Alaska.

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, May 26, 2021 - 10:00 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. ET

The 2021 edition of the popular Philadelphia Flower Show is the first to be held outdoors in Franklin Delano Roosevelt Park. Join Nicole Juday Rhoads, director of engagement at the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, for a presentation on the Philadelphia Flower Show’s history and a preview of the new show themed "Habitat: Nature's Masterpiece.”

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, May 26, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. ET

Learn how 19th-century Prussian naturalist Alexander von Humboldt’s conversations about the arts, science, politics, and exploration with figures such as President Thomas Jefferson and artist Charles Willson Peale had a lasting influence on American art, culture, and understanding of the natural world.

Lecture/Seminar
Friday, June 4, 2021 - 10:00 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. ET

Join naturalist Keith Tomlinson for a virtual tour with an emphasis on adventuring. Located just three hours west of Washington in the eastern panhandle of West Virginia, the beautiful highlands of Spruce Knob-Seneca Rocks National Recreation Area offer outdoor lovers an ideal setting for exploration.

Course
Tuesday, June 8, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. ET

There are 1,121 UNESCO World Heritage sites throughout the world. Guided by Justin M. Jacobs, associate professor of history at American University, this series focuses on four of these sites that have suffered grievous damage in recent decades, from Palmyra to the Great Barrier Reef. The session focuses on the Great Barrier Reef.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, June 10, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. ET

It’s only natural to ask “Why?” in the face of life’s most complex questions and then come up with the answers. Evolutionary biologist Rui Diogo takes a scientific look at how humans have long made sense of their worlds, and suggests there’s a more rational and empirical question to ask in our quest for understanding: How?

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, June 22, 2021 - 6:30 p.m. ET

Are you worried about your memory, or someone else’s? Understand more about how memory works and how you might optimize yours from Barry Gordon, a nationally recognized expert on memory and memory disorders. It is an evening you won’t forget.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, June 24, 2021 - 7:00 p.m. ET

Do you wish you knew more about those intriguing-looking birds you spot in your backyard or on your walks?  Matt Felperin, NOVA Parks’ roving naturalist, offers an essential guide on what you see and hear designed for both beginning birders and those who want to take their skills to the next level.

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, July 7, 2021 - 7:00 p.m. ET

Rock Creek Park, the forested gem running through the heart of Washington, D.C., has delighted residents long before it was declared a national park by an Act of Congress in 1890—and now more than ever offers a welcome destination for outdoor lovers. Join author and naturalist Melanie Choukas-Bradley as she  introduces the story and natural history of a national park landscape as old as Yosemite.

Tour
Friday, July 9, 2021 - 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. ET

Spend a summer morning exploring the verdant wooded trails of Rock Creek Park with naturalist and author  Melanie Choukas-Bradley. She surveys the botanically diverse native trees of Rock Creek Park’s floodplain forest and upland woods and covers the history of D.C.’s woodland gem, the oldest urban national park in the country.

Tour
Wednesday, July 14, 2021 - 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. ET

Spend a summer morning exploring the verdant wooded trails of Rock Creek Park with naturalist and author  Melanie Choukas-Bradley. She surveys the botanically diverse native trees of Rock Creek Park’s floodplain forest and upland woods and covers the history of D.C.’s woodland gem, the oldest urban national park in the country.

Tour
Friday, July 16, 2021 - 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. ET

Spend a summer morning exploring the verdant wooded trails of Rock Creek Park with naturalist and author  Melanie Choukas-Bradley. She surveys the botanically diverse native trees of Rock Creek Park’s floodplain forest and upland woods and covers the history of D.C.’s woodland gem, the oldest urban national park in the country.