Smithsonian scientists

Tracking Tsunamis

Tsunamis, giant waves caused by underwater earthquakes, speed across the ocean at 400 miles per hour. Early warning systems, such as NOAA’s DART systems, are key to saving lives. Today, 47 DART stations are...

Changing Tides - Brave New Ocean

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill , ocean acidification, and the decline of fish stocks are just three of the topics that renowned ocean scientist, Dr. Jeremy Jackson discusses in this talk, recorded on World...
Seven of the newly discovered Starksia blennies, small fish with elongated bodies

Scientists Discover Seven New Species of Fish

Using modern genetic analysis combined with traditional examination of morphology, scientists discovered that what were once thought to be three species of blenny in the genus Starksia are actually 10 distinct species of the...
Smithsonian scientist who discovered new species in her laboratory

Five Questions for Carole Baldwin

Dr. Carole Baldwin's team discovered seven new species of fish "hiding" within three known species of a coral reef fish know as blennies. "We scientists thought we were basically done with the Caribbean–in other...

Understanding the Japan Earthquake and Tsunami

Using maps and graphics, Smithsonian geologist Dr. Liz Cottrell provides an overview of the major earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan on March 11, 2011—one of the largest ever recorded globally. She explains the...

Make Me Care About: Phragmites (Video)

Dennis Whigham , a senior botanist at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center , makes his quick pitch for why you should care about the wetland plant Phragmites australis . A European strain of phragmites...
A landscape photo of a shoreline with tall grass-like plants lining the water's edge.

Make Me Care About: Phragmites

Dennis Whigham , a senior botanist at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center , makes his quick pitch for why you should care about the wetland plant Phragmites australis . A European strain of phragmites...

Diver Encounters a Floating Garbage Patch

The Smithsonian Institution's Dive Officer documents a "swirling monster" of plastic trash that she encountered while diving in Belize.
Smithsonian Scientists Dig a Trench Around a squalodontid Skull

Expedition to Excavate a Fossil Whale

The first thing the researchers did when they arrived on site was outline the general excavation area and take careful measurements of exposed fossils. Next, they applied acrylic glue to any exposed bone to...
Smithsonian researchers eat a meal in preparation for a fossil excavation

At STRI, No Whales Yet, But There Are Fossil Sea Cows...

Before heading out to the fossil locality in Piña, Panama on the Caribbean coast, the team of researchers have a full breakfast at a cantina by the side of the road: roasted chicken, plantains,...
Smithsonian researchers eat a meal in preparation for a fossil excavation

A Squalodontid Success

On a beach in Piña, Panama the tide is rolling out. Faint outlines of skeletal remains rise above the sand. Smithsonian scientists Nicholas Pyenson and Aaron O'Dea along with a team of students descend...

Excavating an Extinct Toothed Whale

A time-lapse video shows researchers from the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History and Smithsonian's Tropical Research Institute racing to excavate the fossil of an extinct toothed whale on a beach in Piña, Panama...
Smithsonian scientists race the tide the excavate an ancient whale fossil entombed in rock

Fossil Whale Found, Excavated, Jacketed, and Returned to STRI!

A time-lapse video of the excavation of an extinct toothed whale on a Panamanian beach. Jorge and I packed up the night we arrived in Panama with Aaron O'Dea and his team from STRI...

Deep Reef Observation Project (DROP) Video

Dr. Carole Baldwin , a research zoologist and fish expert with the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, gives viewers an inside-look at the Deep Reef Observation Project (DROP). She and her colleagues are...
A photo of a sea toad specimen.

A Sub and a Sea Toad

Researchers with the Smithsonian's Deep Reef Observation Project (DROP) collected this sea toad, Chaunax pictus , off the coast of Honduras in 2011. The team is trying to collect sea toads from around the...
Dr. Carole Baldwin

Podcast: Dr. Carole Baldwin on Building the Sant Ocean Hall

Building the Smithsonian's Sant Ocean Hall --like any major exhibition--was a major undertaking. Over the course of five years, it required hundreds of people with a vast array of skills and backgrounds. Many of...
Dr. Michael Vecchione

Podcast: Dr. Michael Vecchione on Building the Sant Ocean Hall

Building the Smithsonian's Sant Ocean Hall ― like any major exhibition―was a major undertaking. Over the course of five years, it required hundreds of people with a vast array of skills and backgrounds. Many...
Dr. Brian Huber on Building the Sant Ocean Hall

Podcast: Dr. Brian Huber on Building the Sant Ocean Hall

Building the Smithsonian's Sant Ocean Hall --like any major exhibition--was a major undertaking. Over the course of five years, it required hundreds of people with a vast array of skills and backgrounds. Many of...