Skip to main content
Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

Science & Nature Programs

Program

Smithsonian Nighttime Adventures

Friday, August 12, 2022 - 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. ET

In-person Program: Join other night owls as you immerse yourself in a unique Smithsonian evening experience at the Natural History Museum. Wander through the museum's galleries and enjoy special activities related to fossils, dinosaurs, and the ocean. Geared for children ages 8 to 14 years old, accompanied by an adult.

Tour

A Natural History of the Mid-Atlantic: Stories of Calvert County, Maryland

Saturday, August 13, 2022 - 8:15 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. ET

The geography and environment of the Mid-Atlantic was shaped over hundreds of millions of years, reflecting influences from a myriad of natural forces and at least 15,000 years of human habitation. Environmental historian and storyteller Hayden Mathews interprets the many layers of the region’s natural history as he leads a tour to three diverse sites in Calvert County, Maryland.

Tour

Sunrise Hikes at Great Falls, Virginia

Saturday, August 20, 2022 - 6:15 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. ET

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

Tour

Sunrise Hikes at Great Falls, Virginia

Sunday, August 21, 2022 - 6:15 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. ET

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

Lecture/Seminar

Indigenous Civilizations of the Southwest: Transitions and Innovations

Thursday, August 25, 2022 - 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

Recent discoveries suggest that Indigenous peoples have lived in the area we know as the American Southwest for more than 22,000 years. Jon Ghahate of the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque examines how these early inhabitants utilized science-based constructs as they shifted from nomadic hunter-gatherer family groups to more socially complex agrarian communities of thousands of inhabitants.

Tour

Sunrise Hikes at Great Falls, Virginia

Friday, August 26, 2022 - 6:15 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. ET

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

Lecture/Seminar

The Volcanic Pulse of Italy

Monday, August 29, 2022 - 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

Italy has long been a focal point for the field of volcanology, thanks to many notable sites such as Vesuvius, Etna, Stromboli, and Vulcano. Join volcanologist Kirt Kempter for an exploration of the country’s volcanic past, present, and future.

Lecture/Seminar

How To Be a Conscious Eater

Wednesday, August 31, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET

Bewildered by navigating a food world full of fads, conflicting news, and marketing hype? You can still make smart, thoughtful choices amid the chaos. Sophie Egan, an expert on food’s impact on human and environmental health, offers a practical guide to everyday eating that’s good for you, good for others, and good for the planet.

Lecture/Seminar

Tangier and Smith Islands: Beauty and Peril

Wednesday, August 31, 2022 - 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

Tangier Island, Virginia, and Smith Island, Maryland, are communities inextricably connected to the Chesapeake Bay. Enjoy a visual narrative by author and photographer Jay Fleming that explores their environment, communities, and commercial fisheries.

Lecture/Seminar

Nikola Tesla: An Inventor Re-invents Military Technology

Friday, September 9, 2022 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

In the 21st century, the life and accomplishments of inventor, engineer, and futurist Nikola Tesla have risen from almost total obscurity to topics of fresh interest. Author Marc J. Seifer, one of the world’s leading Tesla experts, surveys his most significant discoveries that continue to influence today's military technology and diplomatic strategies.

Tour

Historic Chestertown with a Cruise on the Schooner Sultana

Sunday, September 11, 2022 - 7:45 a.m. to 6:15 p.m. ET

Regional historian Hayden Mathews explores the rich heritage of this Eastern Shore town, focusing on both land and sea. The day includes a cruise on a replica of an 18th-century vessel, as well as an historic-district walking tour guided by Chestertown’s mayor.

Lecture/Seminar

Taking Control of Your Cancer Risk with WebMD’s John Whyte

Wednesday, September 14, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

In-Person and Online Program: Despite what many people think, says physician John Whyte, chief medical officer of WebMD, most cancer is not caused by genetics, but rather lifestyle. He offers guidelines on factors including food, exercise, and stress management that can reduce your cancer risk and help you on a journey to better health.

Tour

Theodore Roosevelt’s North Dakota: Badlands, Bison, and the Making of a Conservationist

September 17 - 21, 2022, 6:00 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. ET

The Badlands of North Dakota transformed Theodore Roosevelt over the course of more than three decades into the kind of vigorous outdoorsman he’d idealized as a youth—and that shaped his public image as president and a passionate conservationist. Experience those landscapes—filled with dramatic vistas, vividly colored canyons, and wandering herds of wild bison—on an extraordinary 5-day study tour.

Lecture/Seminar

Boost Your Emotional Fitness

Thursday, September 22, 2022 - 7:00 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

Increased uncertainty, constant change, and ongoing challenges are leading to new levels of stress, feeling overwhelmed, and burnout. Nataly Kogan, speaker, author, and host of the Awesome Human podcast, shares research in neuroscience and psychology that provides the foundation for practical strategies that can help individuals reduce stress, boost resilience, and meet difficult times with less struggle and greater energy.

Tour

Historic Chestertown with a Cruise on the Schooner Sultana

Sunday, September 25, 2022 - 7:45 a.m. to 6:15 p.m. ET

Regional historian Hayden Mathews explores the rich heritage of this Eastern Shore town, focusing on both land and sea. The day includes a cruise on a replica of an 18th-century vessel, as well as an historic-district walking tour guided by Chestertown’s mayor.

Lecture/Seminar

Extinctions on Earth: Then and Now

Tuesday, September 27, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

Andrew H. Knoll, a professor of natural history and earth and planetary sciences at Harvard University, discusses the five moments over the past 500 million years when most of Earth’s animal species disappeared, how those past events relate to 21st-century global change, and what lessons may be learned for preserving our planet’s precious and precarious biodiversity for future generations.

Lecture/Seminar

Understanding Alzheimer’s Disease and the Dementias: What We Know, What We Can Do

Thursday, September 29, 2022 - 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

Alzheimer’s disease, and the dementias in general, are among the most-feared consequences of being lucky enough to survive into older age. Barry Gordon, a nationally recognized expert on memory and memory disorders, sheds light on these debilitating conditions and provides guidance on what you need to know to take the most informed and active steps if faced with one of them—whether personally or in a family member or friend.

Lecture/Seminar

Evolutionary Medicine: Why Do We Get Sick?

Monday, October 3, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. ET

Evolutionary medicine is a rapidly growing field that uses knowledge from modern evolutionary biology to better understand, prevent, and treat disease. Rui Diogo, associate professor of anatomy at Howard University’s College of Medicine, surveys its development, applications, and medical and societal implications, drawing on examples ranging from the historical origin of pandemics to state-of-the-art studies on cancer and social networks.

Lecture/Seminar

A Salute to Scavengers at Hawk Mountain

Monday, October 3, 2022 - 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

A rotting carcass might not sound like a bountiful buffet, but to avian scavengers it’s the best meal they could hope for. Aaron Prince, an educator and raptor care specialist at Pennsylvania’s Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, offers a look into the lives of scavenger species including vultures, ravens, crows, hawks, and eagles, their carnivorous eating habits, and what the world would potentially look like without them in it.

Lecture/Seminar

The Ghost Fleet of Mallows Bay

Thursday, October 6, 2022 - 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

Historian and marine archaeologist Donald Grady Shomette recounts the fascinating tale of his decades-long historical and archaeological survey campaign to document what came to be called the Ghost Fleet of Mallows Bay.

Lecture/Seminar

Wild Wood: True Tales of Trees

Tuesday, October 11, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

Join Liana Vitali, naturalist and educator at Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary in Maryland (and self-proclaimed tree-hugger), for an immersive audio-visual journey into the fascinatingly complicated and connected life of trees—from their first tiny emergence through the topsoil as seedlings, to their lasting value to forest life as fallen logs.

Lecture/Seminar

The Geologic Past of the Mid-Atlantic Region

Thursday, October 20, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET

Who knew that beneath our feet is evidence of magma chambers, giant sharks, Himalayan-sized mountains, and the breakup of several supercontinents? Geologist Callan Bentley leads a fascinating exploration of the Mid-Atlantic region that explores an extraordinary history spanning more than a billion years of geologic time.

Lecture/Seminar

What We Don’t Know About Dinosaurs

Sunday, October 23, 2022 - 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET

In just the past twenty years, we have learned more about dinosaurs than we did in the previous two centuries. Paleontologist David Hone discusses the extraordinary advances beginning to solve many of the mysteries surrounding these marvelous prehistoric creatures, considers the gaps in our knowledge that remain, and charts new directions for tomorrow’s generation of dinosaur scientists.

Lecture/Seminar

Maria Sibylla Merian: A Biologist to the Bone

Thursday, November 17, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

The aesthetic appeal of the images created by Maria Sibylla Merian (German, 1647–1717) has led history to label her as an artist who painted and etched natural history subjects. Kay Etheridge, a professor emeritus of biology at Gettysburg College, draws on Merian’s own words and art to reveal she was as passionate a naturalist (biologist in modern terms) as Charles Darwin or Carl Linnaeus.