Smithsonian Science How? Webcast Archive

Photo of host Maggy Benson and paleontologist Nick Pyenson

Host Maggy Benson and paleontologist Nick Pyenson discuss fossil whales in the first Smithsonian Science How? webcast, January 16, 2014. Smithsonian photo by Wei Qian.

Welcome to the Smithsonian Science How? webcast archive! We’re putting Smithsonian experts in every classroom with webcasts aligned with national science standards. These webcasts originally aired live from the Q?rius theater in the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. Here you can access past shows and view them whenever you want. Webcasts are listed in reverse chronological order (newest first).

Scott Wing on a red earth hillside in the Big Horn Basin of Wyoming

June 5, 2014 - Paleobotany - Climate Change Past and Present with Scott Wing

Learn how paleobotanist Scott Wing hunts for plant fossils in the badlands of Wyoming, and how he interprets the climate record from fossilized leaves and other clues. Explore how plant communities have changed in response to global climate changes. Understand today's warming of our planet in a geological context.

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Geologist Elizabeth Cottrell in her lab

May 15, 2014 - Volcano Geochemistry: Windows to Earth's Interior with Elizabeth Cottrell

What do volcanoes reveal about the Earth? Geologist Elizabeth Cottrell explains how volcanoes form, how they work, and what comes out of them. Learn how she collects and analyzes volcanic rock from the seafloor, and what she learns from her research.

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Carole Baldwin in a mini-submarine

April 24, 2014 – Exploring the Unexplored: Deep Reef Biodiversity with Carole Baldwin

Meet marine biologist Carole Baldwin and learn how she studies fish diversity on coral reefs at depths of 200-1,000 feet. Find out what new species she has discovered.

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Chris Meyer sits on a boat near Moorea

April 10, 2014 – Measuring Biodiversity: Life in One Cubic Foot with Chris Meyer

Dive into the diverse world of coral reefs with marine biologist Chris Meyer! Learn how he uses “reef hotels” to study the biodiversity of coral reefs in Indonesia and French Polynesia – and why biodiversity research is vital.

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Briana Pobiner studies a zebra bone in a field

March 27, 2014 – Human Evolution: Early Human Diets with Briana Pobiner

What did early humans have for dinner a million years ago? Anthropologist Briana Pobiner explores the influence of diet, especially the shift to meat eating, on human evolution. 

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Dan Babbitt holding a Malayan jungle nymph

March 13, 2014 – Arthropod Adaptations: Inside the Insect Zoo with Dan Babbitt

Discover the survival secrets of insects and other arthropods. Dan Babbitt, manager of the Museum's Insect Zoo, brings a few of his favorite segmented friends onto the set and explains their behavior.

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Kari Bruwelheide examines a human skull

February 27, 2014 – Forensic Anthropology: Bone Whispering with Kari Bruwelheide

For forensic anthropologist and “Museum CSI” Kari Bruwelheide, every bone tells a story – sometimes a grisly one. Learn how she examines human skeletal evidence for clues to solve mysteries old and new, including whether the Jamestown settlers practiced "survival cannibalism."

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Carla Dove examines feathers in her lab

February 12, 2014 – Forensic Ornithology: Bird Detective with Carla Dove

What happens when birds and airplanes collide? Ornithologist Carla Dove shares how the Feather Identification Lab helps make us safer on planes.

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Nick Pyenson on a beach with a fossil

January 16, 2014 – Unearthing Fossil Whales with Nick Pyenson

Join paleontologist Nick Pyenson in uncovering fossil whales in Panama, Canada, and Chile and probing their evolutionary mysteries.

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Photo credits for the table, from top to bottom: Courtesy of Ira Block; Wei Qian, Smithsonian; Barry Brown, Substation Curacao; David Liittschwager; courtesy of Dr. Fire Kovarovic; courtesy of Cameron Davidson; Chip Clark, Smithsonian; David Price, Smithsonian; courtesy of J. A. Goldbogen.