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Brown tinted film shot of ash coming out of an erupting volcano. Dr. Elizabeth Cottrell is explaining volcanic ash is.

What Is Volcanic Ash, Anyway?

That's not smoke billowing skyward from many an erupting volcano, it's volcanic ash – and it's not like the ash in your fireplace. Learn how it forms, why scientists call...

Map of green continents on blue water showing locations of volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and  where tectonic plate are.

Plate Tectonics

See how mapping the location of volcanic eruptions and earthquakes can tell us where tectonic plate boundaries are. Dr. Elizabeth Cottrell explains how the plates interact...

Geologist Liz Cottrell in front of equipment in her lab used to recreate deep Earth conditions.

We Just Saw a Pile of Goop

Geologist Liz Cottrell shows how she simulates the conditions of the deep Earth in her lab. She describes the frustrations of failed experiments, which are a necessary...

Three people in white helmets and orange and black jumpsuits stand in a steaming, black landscape. A helicopter approaches.

Smithsonian's Nature of Science: Expedition to Arctic Volcanoes

Join geologist Dr. Elizabeth Cottrell as she explores the active volcanoes of Alaska's Western Aleutian Islands, searching for...

A girl with black hair, glasses, and a red polo shirt talks while standing in front of a projection screen.

YES! Intern Talk - ‘The Day I Was Left Alone in the Lab’

Areli, a high-school intern at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, discusses her experience and science stereotypes in this TED-Ed-style talk.

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A girl with black hair, in a red shirt, standing and talking in front of a projection screen while holding a piece of paper.

YES! Intern Talk - ‘The Most Impactful Experience of My Life’

Camile, a high-school intern at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, shares how doing scientific research — and having a female scientist as a mentor —...

A girl with blondish-brown hair and a red shirt speaks in front of a project screen, which has a picture of a sea slug on it.

YES! Intern Talk - ‘First Attempt in Learning’

Emma, a high-school intern at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, discusses sea slugs and the role of failure in science in this TED-Ed-style talk.

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A girl with a white and red head scarf, brown sweater and pink shirt speaks in front of a projection screen, her hands gesturing.

YES! Intern Talk - ‘Leading a New Generation to Science Success’

Maiss, a high-school intern at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, describes in this TED-Ed-style talk how her perspective on science changed during her...

A girl with dark hair, glasses, and a red polo shirt speaks in front of a projection screen while holding a microphone.

YES! Intern Talk - ‘Scarring the Surface’

Samantha, a high-school intern at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, discusses lunar impact craters and why they are important in this TED-Ed-style talk.

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Woman in a teal blue shirt, looking left, and sitting in front of a background of large, green foliage.

Trap-Jaw Spiders Webcast with Hannah Wood

How do spiders hunt? Join entomologist Dr. Hannah Wood as she reveals the behavior of the tiny trap-jaw spider. Find out how these spiders prey on insects using a...

Close-up photo of a black and blue colored butterfly in the Burtterfly Pavilion on the chest of a woman just below her chin.

Butterfly Pavilion Experience

The Pavilion is a warm, lush enclosure filled with beautiful flowering plants, in which visitors interact with hundreds of live butterflies, representing species from...

Old, bound field book open to pages with drawings of turtles, top and bottom, and difficult-to-read text in script.

Rafinesque’s Drawings of Tortoises, 1818

Constantine Samuel Rafinesque was a Naturalist and Philologist born on October 22, 1783, in Constantinople. In the autumn of 1818 Rafinesque undertook a trip from...

Men using laser scanner and other equipment to study whale skeleton stretching out on the ground inside huge, grayish field tent

Cerro Ballena 3D Scanning

From left, Adam Metallo and Vince Rossi from the Smithsonian's Digitization Program Office 3-D Lab a use high-resolution laser arm and medium-range laser scanners to...

Black and white drawing of The Nation’s T. rex, one of the largest and most complete T. rex specimens ever discovered.

Nation's T. rex: Skeleton

The Nation’s T. rex is one of the largest and most complete T. rex specimens ever discovered, with 80–85 percent of the skeleton recovered. The fossil specimen arrived at...

Artifacts on shelves and in boxes at the Museum Support Center (MSC) in Maryland with collections staff in the background.

Anthropology Collections and Staff

Display of artifacts at the Museum Support Center (MSC) in Silver Hill, Maryland with collections staff in the background. The Smithsonian Institution’s Museum Support...

Beetle dusted with yellow pollen on a light purple and light green thistle flower.

Beetle Dusted with Pollen

Beetle (Larinus latus) dusted with pollen as it visits a thistle flower. The beetle is a "true weevil," identifiable by its long snout. These beetles are plant-eaters,...

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