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Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute | PANAMA

Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

Samples from Pioneering Research Laboratory

Archives of American Art
Textile : ; 29 cm x 20.5 cm

Opportunities for Research 2016-2017

Smithsonian Libraries

The Smithsonian Libraries, situated at the center of the world’s largest museum complex, is a vital part of the research, exhibition, and educational enterprise of the Institution. The Libraries offers exceptional research resources ranging from 13th-century manuscripts to electronic journals. We are happy to offer the following fellowship opportunities for the 2016-2017 academic year.   more »

The post Opportunities for Research 2016-2017 appeared first on Smithsonian Libraries Unbound.

Smithsonian Libraries Research Opportunities 2015

Smithsonian Institution Libraries
Situated at the center of the world’s largest museum complex, the Smithsonian Libraries is a vital part of the research, exhibition, and educational enterprise of the Institution. Each Smithsonian scholar engages in an individual voyage of discovery using the artifacts and specimens of the Smithsonian Institution in conjunction with the Libraries’ written and illustrated record more »

Research Methods and Surprising Findings

National Museum of Natural History
Martin Storksdieck is Director of the Board on Science Eduaction at the National Academy of Sciences/National Research Council where he oversees studies that address a wide range of issues related to science education. He is also a research fellow at the Institute for Learning Innovation, involved in a variety of research studies on informal science learning. Martin is interested in factors that influence scientific and technical literacy, particularly the role of lifelong learning within the ecology of learning opportunities. Another focus of Martin's interest is the intersection of science, society and learning, primarily as those relate to the understanding of evolution and environmental change.

Research serendipity in South Texas

National Museum of American History

Who Pays for Dino Research?

Smithsonian Magazine

Richard Wiener "Research Funding Opportunities

Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
Richard Wiener "Research Funding Opportunities and Effective Grant Writing for Early-Career Science Faculty", during the ITAMP/B2 Institute Winter Graduate School on AMO Physics held at the B2 Campus in Arizona, Jan16, 2012

Spectroscopy Interview with Research Scientist

Smithsonian Museum Conservation Institute

Insignia, Avco Everett Research Laboratory

National Air and Space Museum
Avco Everett Research Laboratory embroidered cotton twill insignia; rocket and clouds depicted on a light blue disc; red embroidered text "AIRBORNE MONITORING TEAM"; blue embroidered text "AVCO EVERETT RESEARCH LABORATORY".

Now We're Crowdfunding Ebola Research?

Smithsonian Magazine

Erica Ollmann Saphire runs a lab at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, that is part of an international consortium to beat Ebola and other hemorrhagic fevers. Saphire, her staff and her students are trying to figure out how Ebola works, and their discoveries have, along with the work of the rest of the consortium, lead directly to the development of the experimental ZMapp Ebola serum.

Given that Ebola is currently ravaging West Africa in a way never before seen and is currently dominating the news cycle in the U.S., one would think Saphire would have no problem getting the money she needs to do her work. But that's not the world we live in. So, with an eye towards ramping up the pace of her research, Saphire is currently running a crowdfunding campaign.

The campaign aims to raise $100,000 to buy more lab equipment and pay more staff, says the Los Angeles Times. That money would supplement the funding Saphire already gets from the government. Since some guy raised $55,000 on Kickstarter to make potato salad, it'd be nice to think her odds of hitting her goal are pretty good.

As Francis Collins, the director of the National Institutes of Health, said recently, basic research has been undervalued in the U.S. for too long, and now the cracks are starting to show. According to Collins, the NIH "has been working on Ebola vaccines since 2001," reports the Huffington Post:

“It’s not like we suddenly woke up and thought, ‘Oh my gosh, we should have something ready here,'” Collins told the Huffington Post on Friday. “Frankly, if we had not gone through our 10-year slide in research support, we probably would have had a vaccine in time for this that would’ve gone through clinical trials and would have been ready.”

The NIH's budget has been basically frozen for the past 10 years, says HuffPo—which means the agency's purchasing power has actually dropped 23 percent. To redirect more money toward Ebola research, NIH leaders had to pull it out of other things. But with a frozen budget, there's only so much wiggle room.

“We all want a cure for Ebola,” said Saphire in a presentation attended by the Los Angeles Times. “But the free market is not going to support it because it begins by infecting people who are very poor."

As of Sunday night Saphire's crowdfunding campaign had only pulled in around $500. Over the past couple days, however, that total has climbed up to $18,000.

Research Charts on Social Welfare

Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives
Research Charts on Social Welfare, 1947-48. Photographic image of a desk with several papers, pamphlets, a calculator used during the period and books. There are several pamphlets regarding different issues of social welfare. Photograph by Constance Stuart Larrabee, 1948.

This series of photographs documents the social welfare system, which had been established for poor white South Africans in the Johannesburg area after the end of the Second World War.

There are no prints of this negative in the Constance Stuart Larrabee Collection. EEPA produced an 8x10 study print for reference purposes.

The cataloging of the Constance Stuart Larrabee Collection was supported by a grant from The Smithsonian Women's Committee.

Research Charts on Social Welfare

Eliot Elisofon Photographic Archives
Research Charts on Social Welfare, 1947-48. Photographic image of a desk with several papers, pamphlets, a calculator used during the period and books. There are several pamphlets regarding different issues of social welfare. Photograph by Constance Stuart Larrabee, 1948.

This series of photographs documents the social welfare system, which had been established for poor white South Africans in the Johannesburg area after the end of the Second World War.

There is one 8x10 black and white vintage print of this negative in the Constance Stuart Larrabee Collection. EEPA also produced an 8x10 study print for reference purposes.

The cataloging of the Constance Stuart Larrabee Collection was supported by a grant from The Smithsonian Women's Committee.

Ramjet, Research Vehicle, F-23

National Air and Space Museum
This is the F-23 research rocket used during 1950-1954 by the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics at its research facility at Wallops Island, Virginia, to test ramjet engines under actual flight conditions.

Each of the ramjet pods produced a thrust of 1,000 pounds (450 kg), using acetylene and rammed-in air. Supersonic speeds were obtained at altitudes up to 159,000 feet (48,460 m). The F-23 also made important contributions in testing various ramjet fuels. This object was donated in 1979 to the Smithsonian by NASA.

MarineGEO: A Global Research Network

Smithsonian TMON
The marine environment is a complex system with a deep past, fragile present, and uncertain future. MarineGEO integrates scientific disciplines through a collaborative network to understand how coastal marine biodiversity is distributed across the globe. By investing in experiments and long-term observations, MarineGEO aims to understand how and why this biodiversity changes over time so society can take informed steps to ensure a healthy future for coastal ecosystems. Music: "Memorized" by Josh Woodward. Free download from https://joshwoodward.com

Research -- a Natural Resource, II

National Museum of American History

Archaeological Research in China (Appendices) 1923-1934

Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives
Carl Whiting Bishop was an Associate Curator and Associate in Archaeology at the Freer Gallery of Art from 1922 to 1942.

This unpublished manuscript constituted a field report that chronicled Bishop's Gallery-sponsored expeditions in northern and central China during the period 1923 to 1934. The reader is provided with a record of the day-to-day operations completed, of obstacles and opposition encountered, and the results obtained from their work. Key diplomatic and scientific representatives from the West and China are recorded who aided and contributed to the investigations. Moreover, there are descriptions of the academic, social and political climate in China during a period of civil war and economic strife. Against this background, Bishop also discussed their efforts in view of the history of China, with commentary on the country's geography, topography, climate, flora and fauna, mineral products, and ancient customs and legends.The manuscript consists of an introduction, 19 numbered chapters, 3 appendices and a series of plates and figures related to his text.

The Smithsonian Environmental Research Center

Smithsonian Institution Archives

With nineteen museums and research centers, the Smithsonian Institution is so much more than just the buildings on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. In fact, if you drive about 33 miles east of the National Mall, you will find the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC), located in Edgewater, Maryland, and this year, the site is celebrating its 50th Anniversary.

SERC was originally established in 1965 as the Chesapeake Center for Field Biology after Robert Lee Forrest bequeathed the land to the Smithsonian upon his death in 1962. The original land donation was 365 acres, but additional grants allowed the Smithsonian to purchase the surrounding land and increase the site to 933 acres by the end of 1969. Further funding and acquisitions have allowed SERC to expand to the 2,650 acres it currently occupies today.

Even though scientists began conducting research on the site shortly after it was acquired, SERC did not hire its first full-time resident scientist until 1974. By that time, more than 15 scientists were already conducting research at the center on everything from tidal marsh plant communities to water quality in Muddy Creek River on a regular basis. In 1975, the visitor’s center, now known as the Reed Education Center, officially opened as the first new building constructed on the site. In the early 1980’s, a laboratory building was constructed as a more permanent facility in which scientists could conduct their research on the area. The area was officially renamed the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center in 1985.

A few years ago, SERC began remodeling the original laboratory, and last year they opened the brand new Charles McC. Mathias Laboratory, the Smithsonian’s first LEED-platinum building. The remodeled laboratory includes roof-mounted solar panels to provide hot water for the building, as well as additional panels which provide a portion of the building’s electricity. Also, 100 percent of the water used in the laboratory is recycled with all greywater being processed through an onsite treatment plant and then reused for things such as fire suppression and bathrooms. Additionally, three large cisterns, and a series of cascading wetland pools containing native plants, capture rain water for use in irrigation.  The remodel included expanding the original building to more than four times its original size to make space for the ever-growing number of scientists conducting research at SERC.

In addition to the laboratory and education center, SERC has three different trails for visitors to explore. There is also a floating dock where visitors coming by water along the Rhode River can tie up before coming ashore to visit the facilities. The Smithsonian Environmental Research Center is open to the public Monday through Saturday, so be sure to check it out!

 


The Charles McC. Mathias Laboratory. Behind the sign is a series of cascading wetland pools containing native plants. Photo by Kira Sobers, September 12, 2015.


The Charles McC. Mathias Laboratory. Behind the sign is a series of cascading wetland pools containing native plants. Photo by Kira Sobers, September 12, 2015.


The Charles McC. Mathias Laboratory. Behind the sign is a series of cascading wetland pools containing native plants. Photo by Kira Sobers, September 12, 2015.


One of three cisterns that capture rain water for use in irrigation. Photo by Kira Sobers, September 12, 2015.


One of three cisterns that capture rain water for use in irrigation. Photo by Kira Sobers, September 12, 2015.


One of three cisterns that capture rain water for use in irrigation. Photo by Kira Sobers, September 12, 2015.


Rack of boots used in the wetlands at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. Photo by Kira Sobers, September 12, 2015.


Rack of boots used in the wetlands at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. Photo by Kira Sobers, September 12, 2015.


Rack of boots used in the wetlands at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. Photo by Kira Sobers, September 12, 2015.


One of the new laboratories in the Charles McC. Mathias Laboratory. Photo by Kira Sobers, September 12, 2015.


One of the new laboratories in the Charles McC. Mathias Laboratory. Photo by Kira Sobers, September 12, 2015.


One of the new laboratories in the Charles McC. Mathias Laboratory. Photo by Kira Sobers, September 12, 2015.


Grass specimens currently being studied by a scientist in the Mathias Laboratory. Photo by Kira Sobers, September 12, 2015.


Grass specimens currently being studied by a scientist in the Mathias Laboratory. Photo by Kira Sobers, September 12, 2015.


Grass specimens currently being studied by a scientist in the Mathias Laboratory. Photo by Kira Sobers, September 12, 2015.


View of the Big Island from the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center dock. Photo by Kira Sobers, September 12, 2015.


View of the Big Island from the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center dock. Photo by Kira Sobers, September 12, 2015.


View of the Big Island from the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center dock. Photo by Kira Sobers, September 12, 2015.


A crab shell on an aquarium at the Reed Education Center. Photo by Kira Sobers, September 12, 2015.


A crab shell on an aquarium at the Reed Education Center. Photo by Kira Sobers, September 12, 2015.


A crab shell on an aquarium at the Reed Education Center. Photo by Kira Sobers, September 12, 2015.

Related Resources

Smithsonian Environmental Research Center

Mathias Laboratory Fact SheetThe Smithsonian Environmental Research Center


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Hot Topics in Archival Research

Smithsonian Institution Archives

Kensington stone, Record Unit 95 - Photograph Collection, 1850s - , Smithsonian Institution Archives, neg. no. 38110a.

Will our photos help researchers authenticate the Kensington Runestone, or prove once and for all that it is a fake?  The investigation is ongoing.

When asked what the Smithsonian Institution Archives collects, we say we hold records about the history of the Smithsonian and its people, programs, research, and activities. While accurate, this doesn’t really give anyone a clue about what is actually in those records.

The Smithsonian Institution Archives Reference Term handles an average of around 6,000 queries per year, and if you ask us what people have been researching at the Archives recently, you’ll get some pretty interesting responses. Although not comprehensive, here’s a snapshot of the diverse range of information encompassed by the history of the world’s largest museum complex!

Over the past three months, researcher projects have included:

  • History of the American Society of Herpetologists and Ichthyologists
  • History of the Waterbird Society
  • Plant Geography
  • History of botany
  • George Washington University's Methods in Museum Anthropology class made its annual visit to use the microfilm of the Smithsonian's accession files
  • Postmodern historicism on exhibit
  • Early 20th century museum pedagogy
  • Smithsonian educational initiatives
  • The Kensington runestone

In addition, the movie, The Galapagos Affair, brought renewed interest in our records of 1930s Galapagos colonists and explorations.  

Upcoming publications using our photos or documents include:

President Richard M. Nixon Inaugural Ball at the National Museum of History and Technology, now known as the National Museum of American History. January 20, 1969, by Richard K, Hofmeister, Record Unit 285 - National Museum of History and Technology, Office of the Director, Photographs, 1920s-1970s, Smithsonian Institution Archives, neg. no. SIA2008-1905.

The Department of State used numerous Smithsonian Institution Archives images in their American Spaces Program, including the Richard M. Nixon Inaugural Ball, January 20, 1969 at the National Museum of History and Technology (now the National Museum of American History)

Most Unusual reference Inquiry:

Question: We recently came across an article published in the Evening Star January 19, 1863. A similar article appeared in the paper the day before.  We were curious if there were any records about this in the Archives, and if any more information was available about this case. The article reads:

It should be known that Mrs. Wren, by hand magnetism, has caused eight living reptiles to be expelled from a boy named Williams, living on 23rd street, between G and H, where the boy may be seen.  He had been treated by the faculty without success for four months previous.  At the request of Prof. Henry the reptiles have been presented to the Smithsonian Institute by Mrs. Wren.  Her residence is No. 445 K street, between 6th and 7th streets. 

Answer: A search of 1863 Smithsonian records didn’t turn up any reference to Mrs. Wren’s eight expelled reptiles. I fear that she was indulging a practice similar to the  the sleight of hand tricks common to Brazilian psychic surgeons and other disreputable fortune tellers. . For what it’s worth, 19th century flim-flam artists loved to give their “discoveries” credence by stating that someone from the Smithsonian had shown interest.

Related Collections

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Henry's Early Research in Electromagnetism

Smithsonian Archives - History Div
Image is of Henry's Albany magnet created in the 1820s, Smithsonian Institution Archives, negative number 39,040.

Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections, vol. 21, no. 356, Article III. "A Memorial of Joseph Henry," including Obsequies, Memorial Exercises at the Capitol and Memorial Proceedings of Societies. Washington: Smithsonian Institution, 1881, p. 212-237.

Reingold, Nathan, ed. The Papers of Joseph Henry, The Albany Years, December 1797 - October 1832, vol. 1. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, p. 201, 312, 316-320, 335-426.

Joseph Henry presents his first contribution to electrical science entitled, "On some Modifications of the Electro-Magnetic Apparatus," at a meeting of the Albany Institute. He becomes the first to construct an electromagnet formed by tightly wrapping multiple coils of an insulated conducting wire around an iron bar. He will demonstrate the difference between this electromagnet, a "quantity" magnet, and the type devised by Gerard Moll of Holland in 1830, which relied on only a single coil. Henry also experiments with the effects of a continuous coil of very great length, or "intensity" magnet, and will publish these experiments in 1831. In 1831, Henry and Michael Faraday will independently induce electrical currents by charging magnetic forces, although Faraday will publish his results first.
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