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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

Science & Nature Programs

Tour
Thursday, April 22, 2021 - 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. ET

Enjoy a socially distanced morning walk on a natural oasis in the Potomac with Melanie Choukas-Bradley, the author of the new book Finding Solace at Theodore Roosevelt Island. Walk along the nearly 2-mile path where willows, bald cypresses, and cattails frame views of Washington, D.C. The morning also includes moments of guided forest bathing to quietly soak up the beauty of this wild island.

Tour
Friday, April 23, 2021 - 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. ET

Enjoy a socially distanced morning walk on a natural oasis in the Potomac with Melanie Choukas-Bradley, the author of the new book Finding Solace at Theodore Roosevelt Island. Walk along the nearly 2-mile path where willows, bald cypresses, and cattails frame views of Washington, D.C. The morning also includes moments of guided forest bathing to quietly soak up the beauty of this wild island.

Lecture/Seminar
Sunday, April 25, 2021 - 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. ET

Who doesn’t love the familiar waddle and elegant slide of the famously flightless penguins. Charles Bergman, award-winning writer and photographer, takes you on a virtual tour to the world’s wild places to meet these wonderful creatures threatened by climate change.

Lecture/Seminar
Sunday, April 25, 2021 - 4:00 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. ET

Whether they are park-like retreats, centers of research, or incorporate both, the world’s botanical gardens are museums with living collections that tell unique stories. Naturalist Keith Tomlinson surveys six of the most remarkable, covering gardens from Singapore to South Africa, Morocco to Missouri. This session focuses on Capetown's Kirstenbosch Botanic Garden.

Lecture/Seminar
Monday, April 26, 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 Easter Island.

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, April 27, 2021 - 10:00 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. ET

Smithsonian Gardens horticulturist Christine Price-Abelow leads a virtual spring bloom tour at the National Museum of the American Indian, providing an overview of the museum’s landscape and its evolution over the last 15 years.

Lecture/Seminar
Tuesday, April 27, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. ET

Inevitably, life on Earth will come to an end and humans may have to find a new home planet. Geneticist and computational biologist Christopher Mason argues that the human ingenuity that has enabled us to build rockets and land on other planets can be applied to redesigning biology that will allow us to inhabit other planets.

Lecture/Seminar
Wednesday, April 28, 2021 - 6:45 p.m. ET

When spring has sprung, nature isn’t shy about showing off how wild love blossoms in mating calls, dances, and rituals that can be found everywhere during the season. Liana Vitali, a naturalist and educator at Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary, offers a tasteful look into the world of animal and plant romance and the ways the natural world keeps buzzing.

Lecture/Seminar
Thursday, April 29, 2021 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET

On the eve of Arbor Day, naturalist and tree expert Melanie Choukas-Bradley presents an overview of the trees in our nation’s capital through stunning photographs of the Tidal Basin, U.S. Capitol, White House, National Arboretum, Rock Creek Park, and many other notable locations.

Tour
Saturday, May 1, 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 3, 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 New Zealand.

Tour
Wednesday, May 5, 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.

Course
Saturday, May 8, 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.

Lecture/Seminar
Sunday, May 9, 2021 - 4:00 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. ET

Whether they are park-like retreats, centers of research, or incorporate both, the world’s botanical gardens are museums with living collections that tell unique stories. Naturalist Keith Tomlinson surveys six of the most remarkable, covering gardens from Singapore to South Africa, Morocco to Missouri. This session focuses on St. Louis's Missouri Botanical Garden.

Lecture/Seminar
Monday, May 10, 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 Australia.

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.