The Scientist Is In

Each week, as part of our "Scientist Is In" program, a marine scientist is stationed in the Sant Ocean Hall at Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History. The scientist--whose job may be to study coral reefs, track hurricanes, or delve into the deep past to understand how our planet's climate has changed over time--spends a couple of hours showing visitors specimens or artifacts and talking about field research, collecting specimens, new discoveries, favorite topics of study, and more.

Squid expert Dr. Clyde Roper examines specimens in the Smithsonian collection.


Chip Clark/Smithsonian Institution

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

1:00 pm - 3:00 pm, Sant Ocean Hall
Ruth Gibbons, Museum Specialist, National Systematics Laboratory

Ruth Gibbons, Museum Specialist at the National Systematics Laboratory


Courtesy Ruth Gibbons

Ruth Gibbons is a Museum Specialist employed in the National Systematics Laboratory (NSL) of NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), which is located here at the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH). Ruth has participated on cruises that conducted Deepwater Biodiversity Surveys of Bear Seamount, an extinct undersea volcano in the Atlantic Ocean. She has also participated on Northeast Fisheries Science Center (NEFSC) bottom trawl survey cruises over her 30 years of working for NOAA.

Ruth graduated from George Mason University in Fairfax, VA with a BS in Biology. She was a pre-dental student and her career path changed after working as a part-time, temporary inventory employee for the NMNH Division of Fishes. She worked with Dr. Bruce Collette of NOAA on the tank specimens of the family Scombridae and 30 years later she's now a museum specialist at the National Systematics Laboratory.


Wednesday, December 28, 2011
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm, Sant Ocean Hall
Staci DeSchryver, Caitlin Fine, and Jason Moeller  NOAA's Teacher at Sea Program

Staci DeSchryver, Jason Moeller, and Caitlin Fine, during their time in NOAA’s Teacher at Sea Program

Caitlin Fine is a science teacher at Francis Scott Key School, in Arlington, VA.  Jason Moeller is the On-Site Education Program Coordinator at Knoxville Zoo.  Staci DeSchryver is a high school science teacher at Cherokee Trail High School in Aurora, Colorado.  

Caitlin spent one week aboard the R/V Walton Smith this August as a participant of NOAA’s Teacher at Sea Program. She helped oceanographers study the water chemistry and biodiversity found in the water of southern Florida.

Jason and Staci sailed aboard NOAA Ship Oscar Dyson this summer. They assisted scientists with the annual Gulf of Alaska/Bering Sea Walleye Pollock Survey, gathering data on the sex, weight, length, and age.


Wednesday, December 21, 2011
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm, Sant Ocean Hall
Jason Goldberg, Fish & Wildlife Biologist, Aquatic Invasive Species, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

USFW Biologist Jason Goldberg, holding an Asian carp


courtesy Jason Goldberg

Jason Goldberg is a Fish and Wildlife Biologist with the Branch of Aquatic Invasive Species in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), a Federal government agency committed to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, and plants and their habitats.  His work focuses on prevention of invasive species, harmful non-native organisms, which can enter the U.S. through a variety of pathways.  Invasive species such as Asian carp, snakehead, zebra mussels, and nutria cause billions of dollars of damage to America's economy and natural resources each year.  Mr. Goldberg is a policy specialist working to identify more effective ways of identifying and preventing risky species.  Another of his projects is developing advice for decision-makers, including the general public, on how to tackle invasive species that have already established and are spreading.

After graduating with an undergraduate degree from the University of Miami, Goldberg completed a Masters in Marine Science from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science and a Masters in Public Policy from the College of William and Mary.  He has worked for Congress and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration before joining FWS. 


Wednesday, December 7, 2011
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm, Sant Ocean Hall
Joel Bader, National Coordinator, Aquatic Animal Health, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Joel Bader, National Coordinator for Aquatic Animal Health, USFWS


Courtesy Joel Bader

Dr. Joel Bader is the National Coordinator for Aquatic Animal Health for the USFWS. As an Aquatic Animal Pathologist and Veterinary Medical Microbiologist – someone who studies the microbial diseases of aquatic animals – he has contributed to our understanding of the molecular basis of virulence in bacterial pathogens of fish.   Presently, Dr. Bader oversees the USFW’s aquatic animal health program and represents the USFWS as the nation’s competent authority for aquatic animal health. His program includes the National Fish Health Centers, Title 50 and the National Wild Fish Disease Survey.  

Dr.  Bader received his undergraduate degree in Biology from the University of Maine, his Masters degree in Fisheries and Aquacultures from Auburn University, PhD in Veterinary Medical Microbiology the University of Georgia, and his Post doctoral Fellowship at the USDA-ARS’s Aquatic Animal Health Research Unit.


Wednesday, November 23, 2011
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm, Sant Ocean Hall
Dave Johnson, 
Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History

David Johnson, Ichthyologist and Curator of Fishes, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History


Courtesy Dave Johnson

Dr. G. David Johnson is an Ichthyologist and Curator in the Division of Fishes at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. His research focuses on the comparative anatomy and evolutionary relationships of bony fishes. He particularly emphasizes the critical role of early life history stages, i.e., larvae, in elucidating the complex evolutionary history of fishes.

Dr. Johnson received his undergraduate degree from the University of Texas at Austin and his PhD from Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California at San Diego. He is the recipient of the Robert H. Gibbs Jr., Memorial Award for an Outstanding Body of Published Work in Systematic Ichthyology.  Dr. Johnson has published 100 scientific papers, the most recent describing a remarkable living fossil eel from an underwater cave in the Republic of Palau. 


Thursday, November 10, 2011
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm, Sant Ocean Hall
Carrie McDougall, Senior Program Manager, NOAA’s Office of Education

Carrie McDougall Senior Program Manager, NOAA’s Office of Education


Courtesy Carrie McDougall

Dr. McDougall leads the education office’s informal education efforts and co-leads theEnvironmental Literacy Grants program, which involves collaborating with and providing grants to formal and informal science education organizations to build environmental literacy and promote the use of NOAA-related sciences and data products. In 2005 Dr. McDougall established a collaborative network of informal science education organizations that created exhibits featuring NOAA’s Science On a Sphere. To date, this network has over 70 member institutions worldwide and has established best practices for education data visualization in informal settings. 

Dr. McDougall came to NOAA in 2003 having received a Knauss Sea Grant Fellowship. This year-long fellowship placed Dr. McDougall in the Office of the Undersecretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and the NOAA Administrator where she gained experience in a breadth of marine policy issues, including education. Carrie earned a B.S. in biology from UCLA in 1994 and a Ph.D. in ecology, evolution, and marine biology in 2002 from UC Santa Barbara (UCSB). While at UCSB, she conducted research on the cellular dynamics of marine dinoflagellate bioluminescence and was heavily involved in marine science education and outreach.


Wednesday, November 2nd 2011
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm, Sant Ocean Hall
Jorge Velez-Juarbe, Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History

Jorge Velez-Juarbe is Predoctoral Fellow in the Department of Paleobiology at Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History.  Born in Isabela, Puerto Rico, Jorge first became interested in fossils at the age of eight, and every since he wanted to be a paleontologist. Jorge has developed an expertise in the evolution and diversification of sirenians (otherwise known as the group that includes seacows, manatees and dugongs) after first collecting fossils of these marine mammals. 

In the summer of 2007, after finishing a bachelor’s degree at the Department of Geology, University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez, he moved to Washington, DC, to work towards his Ph.D. under the guidance of Daryl Domning in the Department of Anatomy at Howard University. He is also a research student in the Department of Paleobiology, at NMNH, where, as a member of the Pyenson Lab, he pursues his interests in other groups of marine mammals as well other extinct vertebrates from the Caribbean region.  To read more about Jorge's work, check out his blog Caribbean Paleobiology


Wednesday, October 19th 2011
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm, Sant Ocean Hall
Valerie Grussing, National Marine Protected Areas Center

Dr. Grussing is the Cultural Resources Coordinator for the National Marine Protected Areas Center. The National System of MPAs works toward the conservation and sustainable use of the nation's vital natural and cultural marine resources. Valerie helps coordinate federal, tribal, and state managers of submerged cultural heritage resources, such as shipwrecks and other sites of cultural significance.

Dr. Grussing has a BA in History from N.C. State University, an MA in Anthropology from the University of Iowa, and a Ph.D. in Coastal Resources Management, specializing in Maritime Studies, from East Carolina University. Valerie has participated in archaeological excavations in Jordan, France, and the US. She has worked on the Queen Anne’s Revenge Shipwreck Project, the shipwreck believed to be that of the pirate Blackbeard, as well as the Hunley Project, the Confederate submarine which had the first ever successful wartime submarine mission, but sank under mysterious circumstances.


Wednesday, October 12th 2011
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm, Sant Ocean Hall
Karen Osborn, Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History

Karen Osborn, Research Zoologist, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History


Courtesy Karen Osborn

Dr. Karen Osborn is one of the world experts in pelagic invertebrates, those gelatinous ephemeral creatures that live up off the sea floor in the water column.  Her research focuses primarily on worms such as green bombers and squidworm and isopods commonly referred to as "spiders" but has included a wide number of phyla. She uses remotely operated vehicles to observe these delicate animals in the deep water column and to collect them for further study in the lab. 

Dr. Osborn is originally from Michigan, but received her Masters degree from Western Washington University and her Ph.D from University of California Berkeley on research conducted at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute. She was a postdoctoral researcher at Scripps Institution of Oceanography and a research associate at University of California Santa Cruz. She joined the Smithsonian NMNH this August as a Research Zoologist.


Wednesday, September 28th 2011
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm, Sant Ocean Hall
Dr. Carole Baldwin and Cristina Castillo, Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History

Dr. Carole Baldwin is Curator of Fishes at the National Museum of Natural History.


Kimberly Wright

Dr. Carole Baldwin is Research Zoologist in the Division of Fishes at Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History.  As a systematic ichthyologist - someone who studies the diversity of and relationships among fishes - Dr. Baldwin’s research interests are focused on diversity and evolution of tropical-marine and deep-sea fishes. She grew up in coastal South Carolina and studied at James Madison University, the College of Charleston, and the College of William and Mary. She has published over five dozen scientific articles, and her work includes the discovery of new species of fishes in Belize, Tobago, Cook Islands, Australia, El Salvador and the Galápagos Islands.

Cristina Castillo is currently the project coordinator for the Deep Reef Observation Project (DROP). She began her work at the National Museum of Natural History as a research intern for Dr. Carole Baldwin, studying the diversity and distribution of a group of small reef fishes. She spent one month aboard a research vessel off the Caribbean coast of Central America collecting deep-sea specimens that are now part of the museum’s extensive research collections.

Read about the adventures Carole and Cristina had this summer in Curaçao on the Summer in a Sub blog 


Wednesday, September 14th 2011
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm, Sant Ocean Hall
Lynne Parenti, Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History

Lynne Parenti, Curator and Research Scientist, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History with Shao-i Wang,student at National Sun Yat-Sen University, Taiwan, preparing to collect fishes in Green Island, Taiwan


Courtesy Lynne Parenti

Dr. Lynne Parenti is a Curator and Research Scientist in the Division of Fishes at Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History.  Her research focuses on the comparative anatomy, evolutionary relationships and distribution of tropical and subtropical fishes.  Her fieldwork is centered on the islands of Borneo, Sulawesi, and New Guinea, but she has also collected in Cuba, Surinam, Tasmania, New Zealand, Taiwan and China. 

Dr.  Parenti received her undergraduate degree from Stony Brook University, New York, and her PhD from a program between the American Museum of Natural History and City University of New York.  She is co-editor of Ecology of the Marine Fishes of Cuba, which received an award from the Cuban Academy of Sciences for an outstanding scientific publication, and co-author of Comparative Biogeography, which received the Smithsonian Secretary’s Research Prize for an outstanding research publication.  She is the first woman ichthyologist elected President of the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists.


Wednesday, August 17th 2011
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm, Sant Ocean Hall
Robert Brock, Marine Biologist, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Robert Brock, Marine Biologist, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)


Laura H. Catanach

Dr. Robert Brock is a Marine Biologist with NOAA’s National Marine Protected Areas Center and coordinates and oversees the natural science program of the Center. Growing up surrounded by the ocean (Cape Cod, Massachusetts) in the Portuguese fishing community of Provincetown,  Dr. Brock was always fascinated by the ocean and has pursued this fascination since childhood. He is interested in the movements of marine species and setting up networks of marine protected areas that protect their various critical life stages such as where they spawn, feed, overwinter, and migrate.

Dr. Brock holds a BSc from Florida International University, an MSc from the Nova Southeastern University Oceanographic Center, and a PhD from the University of Florida. 


Wednesday, June 22nd 2011
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm, Sant Ocean Hall
Shab Mohammadi, Encyclopedia of Life Fellow

Shab Mohammadi, Encyclopedia of Life Fellow


Courtesy Shab Mohammadi

Shab Mohammadi is a 2011 Encyclopedia of Life Fellow. Her interest in natural history began at a very early age, and she has pursued this fascination since childhood. Shab completed her B.S. at George Mason University, her M.S. at Old Dominion University, and is currently a Ph.D. student at Utah State University studying the evolution of toxin resistance in snakes.

Additionally, Shab has been an active member of the Smithsonian community since 2004, having worked on various projects with the division of Amphibians and Reptiles and the Integrative Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) group. Currently, she is continuing her ongoing work on the compendiums, Snake Species of the World, vols. II and III with Roy W. McDiarmid. Shab will be using knowledge accumulated from years of taxonomic work at the Smithsonian and biological research at universities to build taxon pages for several major groups of snakes.


Wednesday, June 8th 2011
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm, Sant Ocean Hall
Michael Lang, Director, Marine Science Network, Smithsonian Scientific Diving Officer

Michael A. Lang is a marine biologist and scientific diver who was recruited by the Office of the Under Secretary for Science (OUSS) in January 1990 to direct the Smithsonian’s pan-institutional Scientific Diving Program and served as Director of the Smithsonian Marine Science Network since 1998. Lang has convened recent science symposia sponsored by OUSS: Smithsonian at the Poles - Contributions to International Polar Year Science; Smithsonian Marine Science; Science Diplomacy - Antarctica, Science and the Governance of International Spaces; and Research and Discoveries: The Revolution of Science through Scuba. Lang has also managed the National Science Foundation U.S. Antarctic Scientific Diving Program since 2001. Professional acknowledgements include DAN/Rolex Diver of the Year, UHMS Craig Hoffmann Award, AAUS Conrad Limbaugh Award for Scientific Diving Leadership, DEMA Reaching Out Award/Diving Hall of Fame and NOGI Award for Science. Lang has been featured in SMITHSONIAN Magazine and Smithsonian Channel’s SPOTLIGHT ON SCIENCE.


Wednesday, June 1st 2011
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm, Sant Ocean Hall
Karen Knee, Postdoctoral fellow, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center

Dr. Knee is a researcher at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC). Her research focuses on how agriculture, urbanization and other land uses affect water quality. For example, in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, fertilizers applied to farms on the eastern shore can seep into groundwater, which then flows downhill and seeps out into the Chesapeake’s tributaries or the bay itself. These fertilizers can cause big problems – algae blooms, turbid water, and even “dead zones” with so little oxygen that fish and other marine life can’t survive. Dr. Knee uses chemical elements that are found naturally in groundwater to measure how much groundwater seeps out and identify hotspots of groundwater discharge. She also investigates how nutrients are consumed or transformed during their seaward journey.

Before coming to work at the Smithsonian, Dr.Knee was a Fulbright scholar in Ecuador, where she studied how agriculture, urban development and mining affect cloud forest streams. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science from Brown University and her Ph.D. in Geological and Environmental Sciences from Stanford University.


Wednesday, March 30th 2011
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm, Sant Ocean Hall
Dennis Whigham, Senior Botanist, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center

Dennis Whigham, Senior Botanist, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center


Courtesy Dennis Whigham

Dr. Whigham is a senior Botanist at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC). SERC is a 2,650 acre facility where scientists and researchers investigate the linkages of land and water ecosystems in the coastal zone. Dr. Whigham's research focuses on wetland ecology and management, forest ecology and the ecology of woodland herbs. One of his projects looks at how restored wetlands can be used to enhance biodiversity and improve water quality. Another of his projects is looking at landscape ecology and evaluating the ecological conditions of wetlands. Dr. Whigham is also researching the rarest terrestrial orchid in eastern North America and invasive species. After graduation with an undergraduate degree from Wabash College, Whigham completed a Ph.D. at the University of North Carolina. He taught botany and ecology at Rider College before joining the Smithsonian in 1977.


Wednesday, Feb. 16th 2011
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm, Sant Ocean Hall
Special Guest: George Watters, Director of NOAA’s Antarctic Ecosystem Research Division

George Watters, Director of NOAA’s Antarctic Ecosystem Research Division



Dr. Watters and the team of Antarctic scientists that form the AERD work to understand the Antarctic Peninsula ecosystem, so that they can detect and explain any changes caused by fishing or climate change. Dr. Watters has worked with the Antarctic Division throughout his life for nearly 20 years, as a technician and cruise leader on research and fishing vessels, as a participant in CCAMLR (Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources) meetings, and now as the director of the Division. He received his B.S. in Fisheries Science at Humboldt State University, his M.S. in Fisheries at the University of Washington, and his Ph.D. in Biological Oceanography at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

Dr. Watters has specialized in population-dynamics and ecosystem modeling, which he has used to study Pacific salmon, tuna and dolphins in the eastern tropical Pacific, and krill, crabs, fish and penguins in Antarctica. His work has primarily been geared toward advising fisheries managers on strategies for utilizing and conserving the Earth’s natural resources. He has also undertaken more theoretical modeling projects, including analyzing the uncertainty involved in ecosystem modeling, and creating methods to evaluate the relative strengths of top-down and bottom-up controls in marine ecosystem models.



Wednesday, Feb. 9th 2011
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm, Sant Ocean Hall
Ellen Strong, Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History

Ellen Strong, Research Zoologist - Invertebrate Zoology, Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History


Heather Bennett

Dr. Ellen Strong is one of the world’s experts on the anatomy and evolution of caenogastropod snails. She has studied snails from freshwater ancient lakes, from deep ocean hydrothermal vents and almost everywhere in between. She specializes on micro-snails (< 10 mm in size) which comprise the vast majority of snail species on the planet. Her work has taken her to the far reaches of the Indo-Pacific, collecting snails in Hawaii, Australia, the Philippines, Vanuatu, and most recently Madagascar.

Dr. Strong was a predoctoral fellow at the Smithsonian and received her PhD from The George Washington University. After a post-doc in Berlin, Germany and Assistant Professorship at the University of Minnesota, she returned to the Smithsonian as a Research Zoologist in 2004.


Wednesday, Feb. 2nd 2011
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm, Sant Ocean Hall
Chris Mah, Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History

Chris Mah, Research Collaborator, Invertebrate Zoology, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History


Courtesy Chris Mah

Dr. Christopher Mah is one of the world's experts in the evolution and biology of the Asteroidea aka starfishes or sea stars. His research has taken him to Antarctica, Australia, New Zealand, and the Aleutian Islands where he has participated in numerous deep-sea cruises. His research includes deep-sea submersible dives in the Hawaiian Islands, off the Bahamas, and the Gorda Ridge in the North Pacific Ocean. Dr. Mah has described nearly 2 dozen new species of starfish and authored numerous papers on starfish diversity and evolution. 

Dr. Mah is originally from San Francisco, CA, received his PhD from the University of Illinois and has been a researcher in the Department of Invertebrate Zoology since 2005. He writes the Echinoblog, a blog which specializes in the Echinodermata, which includes sea stars, sea urchins, brittle stars, sea cucumbers, feather stars and other spiny skinned animals.



Thursday, Jan. 6th 2010
12:30 pm - 1:30 pm, Sant Ocean Hall
Special Guest: Dr. Brandon Southall, President and Senior Scientist for Southall Environmental Associates, Inc., and Research Associate with the University of California, Santa Cruz

Dr. Brandon Southall in the Mediterranean Sea aboard the NATO research vessel Alliance


T. Pusser

Dr. Brandon Southall is currently involved in research projects to measure behavioral responses of free-ranging marine mammals to various human sounds, including military sonar, and hearing and the effects of impulsive noise on hearing in seals. He also serves as a technical advisor to international organizations related to understanding and mitigating impacts of conventional and alternative offshore energy development. He has published over 35 peer-reviewed technical papers and reports, and has given hundreds of presentations on related subjects to scientific, regulatory, Congressional, and general public audiences internationally. His interest in biology and acoustics came about from an early fascination with bird songs and was directed to the ocean by studying sea turtles in Hawaii.

Can't join us for Scientist Is In?  Watch the live webcast of Dr. Southall's lecture on his recent findings Thursday, January 6, 2011 at 2:00 pm (EST).


Wednesday, Dec. 29nd 2010
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm, Sant Ocean Hall
Melinda Storey and Nicolle von der Heyde, NOAA's Teacher at Sea Program

Melinda Storey is the Gifted Specialist teacher at Mountain Brook Elementary School, in Birmingham, AL. Nicolle von der Heyde is an eighth-grade science teacher at Hazelwood East Middle School, in Florrisant, MO.

Melinda and Nicolle sailed aboard NOAA Ship Pisces for two weeks in June as participants of NOAA’s Teacher at Sea Program. They assisted scientists conducting reef fish surveys in the Gulf of Mexico during the BP/Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The data that Melinda and Nicolle helped collect will ultimately help scientists understand the health of reef fish populations in the Gulf.


Wednesday, Dec. 22nd 2010

1:00 pm - 3:00 pm, Sant Ocean Hall
Yolanda Villacampa, Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History

Yolanda Villacampa, Museum Specialist - Invertebrate Zoology, Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History


Chip Clark/Smithsonian Institution

Yolanda Villacampa is a Museum Specialist in the Department of Invertebrate Zoology at the National Museum of Natural History. She provides technical, laboratory and collection support primarily for research zoologists specializing in marine and freshwater mollusks and recently for marine sponges as well. She works with the scanning electron microscope (SEM) to take images of unique detailed structures such as snail teeth (radulae), opercula and shell sculpture of small-sized mollusks including type specimens which are used for research publications. Other projects include sampling invertebrate/mollusk tissue for DNA barcoding and photography of mollusk shells.



Wednesday, Dec. 15th 2010
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm, Sant Ocean Hall
David Bohaska, Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History

David Bohaska, Museum Specialist - Vertebrate Paleontology, Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History


Courtesy David Bohaska

David Bohaska is a Museum Specialist in Vertebrate Paleontology at the National Museum of Natural History. He is one of the collection managers as well as a part of public affairs in the Paleontology Department. His research focuses on marine mammal fossils of the mid-Atlantic coast of North America from the Tertiary period. David received his graduate degree from the University of California, Los Angeles.


Wednesday, Dec. 8th 2010
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm, Sant Ocean Hall
Dr. Ian Macintyre, Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History

Ian G. Macintyre, Curator of Carbonate Sedimentology, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History


Courtesy Ian Macintyre

Ian Macintyre is a Research Scientist and Curator in the Department of Paleobiology in the National Museum of Natural History. He received his B.Sc. from Queen’s University, Ontario, Canada in 1957 and his Ph.D. from McGill University, Montreal, Canada in 1967. He joined the Smithsonian staff in 1970 after three years of research at the Duke University Marine Laboratory.

He is a carbonate petrologist/sedimentologist with a multidiciplinary interest in the post-glacial history of coral reefs, submarine lithification, skeletal mineralogy of reef organisms, bioerosion, and Holocene sea-level history. In 1996 he received the Darwin Medal from the International Society for Reef Studies. Ian was an original member of the scientific team that established Smithsonian’s research activities in Belize in 1972.

Dr. MacIntyre was the scientific adviser for the Ocean Portal feature on naturalist William Dampier, “The Pirate Who Collected Plants.”


 Wednesday, Nov. 24th 2010
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm, Sant Ocean Hall
Dr. Nancy Knowlton, Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History

Nancy Knowlton, the Sant Chair for Marine Science at Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History.


Christian Ziegler

Dr. Nancy Knowlton holds the Sant Chair in Marine Science at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. Her research focuses on the ecology, evolution and conservation of coral reef organisms, and has taken her to the Caribbean, Brazil, the eastern Atlantic, and the Indo-west and central Pacific. Her analyses have led to the now widespread recognition that estimates of marine diversity are probably too low by a factor of ten.

Dr. Knowlton received her undergraduate degree at Harvard University and her PhD at the University of California at Berkeley, and was a professor at Yale University prior to moving to the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama. Later, she joined the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California at San Diego, where she was the founding Director of the Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation and the leader of its interdisciplinary research and education (IGERT) program. Dr Knowlton is also a scientific leader of the Census of Marine Life and author of the new book Citizen of the Sea.

Read Dr. Knowlton’s the Citizens of the Sea blog series on the Ocean Portal.


Wednesday, Nov. 17th 2010
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm, Sant Ocean Hall
Ron Gird, NOAA National Weather Service

Ron Gird is a meteorologist with NOAA’s National Weather Service (NWS) and is responsible for the NWS Customer Outreach and Education Programs, a position held since December, 1998. Mr. Gird is a member of the California State University-Satellite Education Association Advisory Board. He has served as a consultant to Plan!TNOW, Time/Life Books, The American Meteorological Society, the National Geographic Society and the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. Previous assignments included work with the NOAA Satellite Program, NWS Satellite and Spaceflight Programs, the NWS Storms Prediction Center, and The Analytical Sciences Corporation (TASC). He received his B.S. in meteorology from the Pennsylvania State University.


Wednesday, Nov. 10th 2010
1:00 pm - 3:00 pm, Sant Ocean Hall
Special Guest: Tamie Gray DeWitt from Smithsonian’s National Zoo

Tamie has been working at the Invertebrate Exhibit at Smithsonian's National Zoo since 1992. She is an avid Scuba diver who attended junior high and high school in the Panama Canal Zone and has always had a love for nature. Before coming to the National Zoo, Tamie taught adult education English to speakers of other languages, including three years in Korea. She has a master's degree in education and enjoys interacting with the public.

With our large volunteer program, one goal of the Invertebrate Exhibit is to give every visitor an opportunity to talk to someone. The exhibit maintains a diverse collection of animals including terrestrial and aquatic species and does feeding demonstrations every 15 minutes or half hour. Cephalopods, including the giant Pacific octopus, nautilus and common cuttlefish, are among the animals on display. In the past few years, the exhibit has worked to provide the aquarium and research communities with common cuttlefish and has bred hundreds of cuttlefish for aquariums.



Tags: Smithsonian scientists, Sant Ocean Hall