Smithsonian Science How Online Text Chat Archives

Geologist Mike Wise smiling while sitting at a table with his hands on a laptop computer keyboard.

Geologist Mike Wise gets ready to participate in a Smithsonian Science How online text chat. Photo by Devin Reese, Smithsonian.

Learn about science careers by reading transcripts of our text-based online chats with Smithsonian scientists. Each chat features a scientist who previously appeared on a Smithsonian Science How live webcast, and each chat page contains links to the webcast video and other related resources. 

Click a link below to jump to a list of online text chats in each discipline.

Earth Science | Life Science | Paleontology | Social Studies

Geologist Cari Corrigan gesturing with her hands, palms up

Cari Corrigan - A Geologist Studying Antarctic Meteorites


Cari studies meteorites from the Moon, Mars and asteroids in order to understand how the planets formed. She has been to Antarctica twice to collect meteorites and would go back again in a heartbeat! This chat took place Oct. 26, 2017.

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A woman with long brown hair, looking straight ahead, smiling, with arms crossed. She is wearing a patterned shirt.

Elizabeth Cottrell - A Geologist Studying Volcano Chemistry


When Liz was in high school, she loved chemistry. In college, she took a class about planets and fell in love. Now she studies Earth’s mantle — volcanoes are the way she gets her samples. This chat took place Jan. 31, 2017.

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Geologist Mike Wise, wearing glasses and a blue polo shirt, smiles while holding a gray and beige crystal in his left hand.

Mike Wise - A Geologist Studying Mineral Crystals and Gems


Growing up in southeastern Virginia, Mike got interested in the minerals of the area. During rock-hunting trips in college, he took a liking to “pegmatite” rocks with mineral crystals. He has studied them ever since. This chat took place Nov. 2, 2016.

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Ornithologist Carla Dove

Carla Dove - An Ornithologist Identifying Bird Remains from Airplane Strikes


Carla grew up in rural Virginia where she developed a love for the outdoors, spending her summers roaming through the woods. Now she is the director of the museum's Feather Identification Lab. This chat took place Nov. 16, 2017.

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A smiling woman standing with one hand on her hip. She has brown hair, reddish glasses, and is wearing a black sweater.

Helen James - An Ornithologist Studying Bird Extinctions


Helen started watching birds as a kid in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas. She loved looking for animals in the woods as she hiked and camped with her family. Her fascination with birds continues today. This chat took place Dec. 14, 2016.

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Michelle Pinsdorf smiling and looking straight ahead

Michelle Pinsdorf - A Fossil Preparator Preserving Fossils for Study and Display


When Michelle was growing up, she sketched dinosaurs in her school notebooks. She studied Geology in college and then earned a Master’s degree in Vertebrate Paleontology. An internship helped her discover her love for preparing fossils.

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Paleontologist Hans Sues smiling and wearing a blue dress shirt.

Hans Sues - A Paleontologist Studying the Rise of Dinosaurs


At 4 years old, Hans became fascinated with dinosaurs. His interest propelled him to study to become a paleontologist. Hans has discovered fossils of new dinosaur species in the U.S., China, and Uzbekistan. This chat took place Oct. 20, 2016.

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Bill Fitzhugh standing, smiling, holding his eyeglasses just in front of his forehead. He is wearing a light blue plaid shirt.

Bill Fitzhugh - An Archaeologist Studying Culture and Climate Change in the Arctic


Bill first became interested in the North through canoeing in Ontario. He went on to study anthropology at Dartmouth College. Now he studies Arctic cultures around the world. This chat took place Oct. 19, 2017.

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Linguist Gabriela Pérez Báez, smiling with her hands clasped. She is wearing a purple and turquoise patterned dress.

Gabriela Pérez Báez - A Linguist Studying the Diversity of Languages


Gabriela grew up in Mexico City and first had a career as a graphic designer. But, she changed her career to reflect her interest in how people communicate through language. She examines how languages affect who we are and how we are perceived by others. This chat took place Sept. 21, 2017.

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