Media Library

Medium shot of Curator Paul Pohwat in the mineral lab with shelves behind him holding a Smitsonite sample from a Mine timber.

Smithsonite, Mr. Smithson's Mineral

Curator Paul Pohwat shows examples from the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History collections of smithsonite, a mineral named after James Smithson, the founder of...

Long shot from black and white film footage of a high plume of ash from the erupting Parícutin volcano in Mexico in n 1943.

Parícutin: The Birth of a Volcano

In 1943, a volcano emerged out of a cornfield in Mexico. Smithsonian scientist William Foshag spent more than two years on site studying its growth, and he took video and...

A male scientist in a beige long sleeve shirt examines with his hand the wrapped human remains inside an open iron coffin.

The story of a 19th century boy buried in an iron coffin

One of a set of video podcasts that provide a behind-the-scenes glimpse of anthropologists at work in the National Museum of Natural History. Dr. Dave Hunt with a team of...

Shot of Maggy Benson and Dr. Joshua A. Bell at table with blue cloth that has cellphones, shells, and gems and minerals on it

Cell Phone Natural History with Joshua A. Bell

Could you live without your cellphone? Meet cultural anthropologist Joshua A. Bell. He studies the social implications of the cellphone being one of our most intimate...

Maggy Benson and entomologist Dr. Ted Schultz at a table that has containers of ants on it. The backdrop is of green plants.

Ant Agriculture Webcast with Ted Schultz

Meet entomologist Ted Schultz and learn about leaf-cutter ants, creatures that are responsible for processing more vegetation than any animal on Earth. Find out how...

Maggy Benson and geologist Dr.Cara Santelli at a table that has minerals and specimen containers. Backdrop of a mountain scene

Mineral Transformations Webcast with Cara Santelli

Did you know that microbes are a solution to pollution? Meet geologist Cara Santelli, who studies the relationship between minerals and microbes, such as bacteria and...

Maggy Benson and anthropologist David Hunt at a table that has mummy specimens in boxes. He is holding some spine bones.

Mummy Science Webcast with David Hunt

Meet anthropologist David Hunt, who is an expert on mummies and how they are made. Did you know that mummies are often made accidentally? Compare human-made mummies to...

Maggy Benson and geologist Dr. Tim McCoy at a table that has meteorite fragments. He is holding a large one. A desert backdrop

Meteorite and Spacecraft Webcast with Tim McCoy

Have you ever wondered how we study asteroids and other bodies in our solar system without sending spacecraft to all of them? Meet geologist Tim McCoy, who wrote code for...

Maggy Benson and geologist Dr. Michael Wise at a table that has gems, minerals, crystals. He is holding a large Quartz gem.

Mineral Dependence Webcast with Michael Wise

Meet geologist Michael Wise. He studies unusual rocks called pegmatites, which he considers to be "Nature’s Giant Treasure Chests" because they often contain large and...

Maggy Benson and paleobiologist Dr. Brian Huber at table with fossils, tools, and containers. Backdrop of mountain scene.

Global Change Webcast with Brian Huber

Meet paleobiologist Brian Huber, who studies tiny organisms called foraminifera (forams) that are great indicators of global changes. How can a microscopic organism that...

Maggy Benson and archaeologist Dr. Bill Fitzhugh at table with arctic fossils. Backdrop of is of a mountain scene.

Arctic Culture and Climate Webcast with Bill Fitzhugh

When you think of the Arctic, do you envision an icebound, isolated place? Find out what the Arctic is really like and how people have coped with its unique conditions for...

Maggy Benson and zoologist Dr. Karen Osborn at table with marine invertebrates in containers. Backdrop is of ocean fish.

Ocean Biodiversity Webcast with Karen Osborn

What unknown creatures live in the open ocean? Join zoologist Karen Osborn as she peers into the ocean depths using a remotely operated vehicle to look for organisms. See...

Maggy Benson and archeologist Dr. Torben Rick at table with marine invertebrates in containers.  He is holding a fossil rock.

Island Biodiversity Webcast with Torben Rick

Meet archaeologist Dr. Torben Rick and join him in analyzing archaeological evidence of human life on islands. Look back over thousands of years of influence of humans on...

Maggy Benson and paleontologist Dr. Matthew Carrano at table with fossils in divided containers. He holds a dinosaur fossil.

Tiny Fossils and Big Dinosaurs Webcast with Matthew Carrano

What can tiny fossils reveal that large dinosaur fossils may not? Join paleontologist Matthew Carrano and learn how he pieces together the ecosystems dinosaurs inhabited...

Maggy Benson and physical anthropologist Dr. Sabrina Sholts at table with a skull, bones, a small skeleton, and pottery.

How Bones Reveal Environmental Health Webcast with Sabrina Sholts

Meet anthropologist Sabrina Sholts and learn how she studies skeletons, particularly human skulls, to understand the impacts of environmental toxins.

Blue Jellyfishon a dark black backround in the Arctic Ocean

Stunning Creatures Beneath Arctic Ice

Using an ROV (Remotely-Operated Vehicle) equipped with a high-definition video camera, scientists can observe the life that flourishes...