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Leopard Lifesaver: Smithsonian Scientist JoGayle Howard

Office of Public Affairs
Dr. JoGayle Howard of the Smithsonian's National Zoo discusses her work to breed and study one of the world's most endangered cats, the clouded leopard. More about the National Zoo's work to save clouded leopards: http://nationalzoo.si.edu/SCBI/ReproductiveScience/ConsEndangeredCats/CloudedLeopards/ http://nationalzoo.si.edu/support/annualappeal/cloudedleopards/

Go Orchids: A Guide to Identifying Orchids

Smithsonian Environmental Research Center
Learn how to use Go Orchids, a mobile-friendly website that helps orchid enthusiasts identify orchids they encounter in the wild using their PCs, or using smartphones in the field. To try it out, visit http://goorchids.northamericanorchidcenter.org. The Go Orchids site was created by the North American Orchid Conservation Center, dedicated to preserving endangered and threatened orchids across the continent. Visit http://northamericanorchidcenter.org to learn more.

Ecosystems on the Edge: A Crab-Castrating Barnacle

Smithsonian Environmental Research Center
An invasive parasite known as Loxothylacus panopaei survives by hijacking the reproductive system of a mud crab, forcing it to produce parasite larvae. If the crab happens to be male, it will still give birth...to barnacles. View more Ecosystems on the Edge videos and learn how you can help at http://ecosystems.serc.si.edu. Created by the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center.

Flatworm Eats Amphipod Inside Out

Smithsonian Environmental Research Center
Tapeworms aren't the only flatworms capable of grotesque feats of nature. Non-parasitic flatworms have equally horrific ways of attacking their victims. The slender flatworm Euplana gracilis consumes its prey by sucking out their insides. Videographer: Dean Janiak (Smithsonian Environmental Research Center Benthic Ecologist) In this video, Euplana attacks a shrimp-like amphipod by wrapping around its back and completely immobilizing it. Sticking its tube-like pharynx through a segment of the amphipod, the flatworm then consumes and digests its internals--a process that takes about half an hour. Once finished, it abandons the empty carcass and goes into a resting period until its next meal. On the outside, an amphipod that's been eaten doesn't look that different from a normal amphipod...except for the fact that it's, well, dead.

Ecosystems on the Edge: An Endangered Orchid

Smithsonian Environmental Research Center
Endangered 16 of the 20 states where it still appears, the small-whorled pogonia has earned the title "rarest orchid east of the Mississippi."To save it, Smithsonian ecologists must delve into life underground. View more Ecosystems on the Edge videos and learn how you can help at http://ecosystems.serc.si.edu. Created by the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center.

Ecosystems on the Edge: Wetlands of the Future

Smithsonian Environmental Research Center
What will the world look like in 2100? Smithsonian ecologists are building CO2-flooded time capsules to find out. View more Ecosystems on the Edge videos and learn how you can help at http://ecosystems.serc.si.edu. Created by the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center.

Ecosystems on the Edge: Underwater Light and Seagrass

Smithsonian Environmental Research Center
Shallow-water seagrasses can't survive without enough light. And fish, shrimp, crabs and other creatures we rely on for food can't survive without seagrasses. Smithsonian biologist Chuck Gallegos describes how pollution is putting all of them in danger. View more Ecosystems on the Edge videos and learn how you can help at http://ecosystems.serc.si.edu. Created by the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. View more Ecosystems on the Edge videos and learn how you can help at http://ecosystems.serc.si.edu. Created by the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center.

An Invisible Invasion

Smithsonian Environmental Research Center
Little-known fact: Most earthworms in U.S. soil aren't native. They came in European ships with the first colonists in the 1600s. Over time, the European worms took over the upper layers of the soil and drove native earthworms underground, launching a 400-year invasion that's still going on today. Created by homeschool students Molly Enriquez, Joe Giardina and Anne Marie Nolan at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center.

Shark Tagging: Smithsonian Movement of Life Initiative

Smithsonian Environmental Research Center
The Movement of Life Initiative is a developing program in animal tracking research conducted by Smithsonian Institution researchers and their colleagues. As part of the program, scientists Matt Ogburn and Charles Bangley at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center are tracking sharks along the East coast of the United States. They’re focusing on four species of sharks: Bull, Blacktip, Dusky, and Smooth Dogfish. These four sharks are regulars in the Chesapeake Bay region and fulfill a variety of ecological roles, but much basic information about their movement ecology within the estuary and beyond is still unknown. Ogburn and Bangley are tracking the sharks using a system called “acoustic telemetry,” equipping the animals with tags that emit a series of pings, which receivers along the Atlantic can pick up. Through acoustic telemetry, the scientists aim to better understand habitat use and migration behavior among these coastal sharks in the U.S. Mid-Atlantic region. Learn more about the Movement of Life Initiative: https://movementoflife.si.edu/ https://serc.si.edu/research/projects/coastal-migrations Music by Adam Vitovsky Creative Commons License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ Thumbnail Photo: Smooth Dogfish shark by Chuck Bangley

Tracking River Herring Conservation at the Smithsonian

Smithsonian Environmental Research Center
River herring were once some of the most abundant fish in the Chesapeake, until their numbers plummeted in the 1970s. Today, new fishing protections have helped give them a shot at recovery, and managers are taking down some of the dams that have blocked the fish's way to their spawning grounds. But is it working? Every spring, when river herring swim upriver to spawn, biologists with the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center search for the fish in rivers around the Chesapeake. Research technician Kim Richie explains how they survey for river herring in the center's Fish and Invertebrate Ecology Lab. Learn more about the lab's river herring research at the links below: Conservation of River Herring Spawning Runs Research: https://serc.si.edu/research/projects/conservation-river-herring-spawning-runs Citizen Scientist River Herring Project: https://serc.si.edu/citizen-science/projects/river-herring-conservation Music: Creative Minds /www.bensounds.com

Ecosystems on the Edge

Smithsonian Environmental Research Center
Coasts shelter 70 percent of the world's people. But they're under attack from pollution, invasive species, and the steady march of climate change. Smithsonian biologist Andrew Peresta narrates how they protect us, and how ecologists are working to protect them. View more Ecosystems on the Edge videos and learn how you can help at http://ecosystems.serc.si.edu. Created by the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center.

Field Ecology: Leaping from a Mullet Skiff

Smithsonian Environmental Research Center
With its motor near the front, the mullet skiff is an oddity. Why place a motor here? It leaves the back open for working an enormous seine net—something ecologists use to trap and study fish in Chesapeake Bay. Here, ecologists at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center launch a 200-foot seine net along a Chesapeake marsh. First, the boat captain scans the marsh for a suitable spot. A net runner uses ninja-like skills to quietly jump off the stern and secure one end of the net on the shore, while the captain speeds the skiff away, arcing around the marsh. As the skiff arcs back towards shore, the captain cranks the steering wheel and throttles down. The second net runner then jumps off the shore and quickly runs the other end of the net to shore, entrapping the fish. Timing and agility are important skills for the second net runner. Leaping off a moving boat into water that instantly stops your momentum while managing the unwieldy net is no easy feat— envision "walking" an 80-pound Golden Retriever that is determined to chase a squirrel! There have been some epic wipeouts, but all you can do is pop up and run as fast as you can to shore, splashing the entire way to prevent the fish from escaping.

Exploring Undersea Life in Panama with MarineGEO

Smithsonian Environmental Research Center
In 2015, the Smithsonian's MarineGEO scientists teamed up with the Reef Life Survey, a global effort to track sea life in coral and rocky reefs around the world. Since its beginning, the Reef Life Survey has detected more than 3,000 fish species in 44 countries. This video offers a glimpse of some of the bright tropical fish they discovered beneath the waters of Panama in this expedition. Learn more about the Reef Life Survey at http://reeflifesurvey.com/ Learn more about the Marine Global Earth Observatories (MarineGEO) http://marinegeo.si.edu/

A Bouquet of Protozoa: Zoothamnium from the Patuxent

Smithsonian Environmental Research Center
These bell-shaped protozoa, called Zoothamnium, form large colonies connected by a stalk with a high-speed spring inside. Whenever they sense a disturbance, the stalk contracts, drawing the cells into safety, and expands again once the disturbance has passed. SERC marine biologist Tim Mullady captured this microscopic video of Zoothamnium from Maryland's Patuxent River in April. Watch to see the colony branch out like a bouquet of flowers at 0:13, 0:32 and 0:56!

Ballast Water Sampling

Smithsonian Environmental Research Center
Kim and Jenny from the Smithsonian Environmental Reseach Center collect measurments and plankton samples from a ballast tank. Read more about thier research here http://www.serc.si.edu/labs/marine_invasions/feature_story/January_2013.aspx

Ecosystems on the Edge: Points of Invasion

Smithsonian Environmental Research Center
Invasive species have a host of ways to infiltrate our shores. Find out how humans have accidentally--or deliberately--brought them over, how scientists are tracking them, and how we can do a better job stopping them in the future. View more Ecosystems on the Edge videos and learn how you can help at http://ecosystems.serc.si.edu. Created by the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center.

Seahorse Noodling

Smithsonian Environmental Research Center
Two lined seahorses (Hippocampus erectus) at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, dubbed Mr. Ed and Flicka, perform a courtship dance in their aquarium. Seahorses are generally monogamous, mating with one partner for life. It's common practice for seahorse couples to do a courtship dance every morning, often changing color and intertwining their tails. And when it's time to have children, it's the male who gives birth. During mating, the female deposits hundreds of eggs into the male's brood pouch, where they're sheltered until he gives birth to them about three weeks later. It's thought this may have evolved as a way for the male to be certain he's the father. (Video: Karen McDonald/SERC)

Smithsonian Cownose Ray Tagging Project

Smithsonian Environmental Research Center
These cownose rays are waiting in a holding tank (a kiddie pool) to be tagged with acoustic transmitters. The Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) has tagged 35 cownose rays (so far!) from the Chesapeake Bay as part of a project that aims to improve understanding of cownose ray behavior and migration. Cownose rays, which are a native, migratory species in the Chesapeake Bay, enter the Bay in May, give birth to free-swimming offspring (called a "pup") in June, mate in July, and leave the Bay by October to return to their wintering grounds. While they are currently thought to be rather abundant in the Bay, cownose rays are incredibly prone to over-fishing due to the fact that they are slow-growing and only give birth to one pup a season. It would be difficult for them to come back from a severe decline in population. For this reason, cownose rays have been designated as "near-threatened" on the IUCN Red List. SERC hopes that their project will shed some light on the situation and will be able to provide scientific data that can help to inform a sustainable cownose ray fishery in the future. A sustainable fishery would both help control cownose ray populations while protecting them from being over-fished.

Making Sense Of Climate Change 6: Confronting Denial

Smithsonian Environmental Research Center
Get the truth about climate change, with plant scientist Bert Drake of the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. In this 6-part series, discover how we got here, how we move forward, and what climate change could mean for our food our coastlines and our homes. Learn more at https://serc.si.edu/making-sense-of-climate-change. Lecture 6: Confronting Denial and the Truth About Uncertainty Why are Americans so divided in their views on climate change? In the series finale, follow the story from climate change skepticism in the 20th century to denial in the 21st. Credits: Video thumbnail: Duncan Hull Creative Commons license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0 Image cropped to make graffiti more visible Opening images courtesy of NASA, Chesapeake Bay Program, USAID and the U.S. Department of Energy Music: "Ruckus 3" by Dave Depper From The Free Music Archive Creative Commons license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Chesapeake Bay Parasite Project--2017 Citizen Science Newsletter

Smithsonian Environmental Research Center
White-fingered mud Crabs (Rhithropanopeus harrissi) are native to the Chesapeake Bay. These scavengers are small, and live in oyster reefs and woody debris in the water. The parasitic barnacle that infects these mud crabs is called Loxothylacus panopaei (Loxo, for short). Loxo infects and castrates the crabs, which means they can no longer reproduce. Scientists are interested in learning where Loxo is in the Chesapeake Bay and how mud crab populations change year to year. Videos by Cosette Larash, Maria Sharova, Alison Cawood Music: Positive by AShamaluev https://www.youtube.com/user/AShamaluev/about

Plate Watch--2017 Citizen Science Newsletter

Smithsonian Environmental Research Center
The Marine Invasions Lab researchers have been working with volunteers to track the movement of non-native marine invertebrates along the West Coast of the US and Canada. Citizen scientists deploy settlement plates—small PVC tiles that are zip tied to bricks to keep them underwater. Videos by Cosette Larash, Maria Sharova, Alison Cawood Music: Positive by AShamaluev https://www.youtube.com/user/AShamaluev/about

SERC, DIDSON video, Deer Creek Herring 2015

Smithsonian Environmental Research Center
Dual-frequency Identification Sonar (DIDSON) is an imaging sonar technique that is helping the Fish and Invertebrate Ecology Lab at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) count the number of river herring present at spawning locations up the tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay. Here is a video of a school of Alewife swimming around in Deer Creek. Alewife and Blueback Herring are the two kinds of river herring that spawn in Chesapeake Bay tributaries. What are you seeing in this video? You are essentially looking down on the stream from above. The brightest spots that you see, if you notice, are not moving. Those are rocks on the bottom of the river bed. Each of the moving short bright lines is a fish. The fish moving from right to left are swimming upstream. We know that these fish are Alewife because we caught several and visually identified them at the site. Want to learn more about SERC's herring project? Check out our webpage: http://www.serc.si.edu/labs/fish_invert_ecology/herring.aspx

Molina Family Tribute

Smithsonian Latino Center
The Smithsonian Latino Center’s first gallery space, the Molina Family Latino Gallery, will be dedicated to celebrating the U.S. Latino experience and open at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in 2021. The gallery space is made possible by a lead gift to the Smithsonian Latino Center of $10 million by five members of the Molina family. Five siblings collectively made this founding gift in memory of their father Dr. C. David Molina, a health-care leader in California who founded the publicly traded Fortune 500 company Molina Healthcare Inc. The Smithsonian Latino Center has named the new gallery space the Molina Family Latino Gallery in recognition of the donation. More on the Molina family and the Molina Family Latino Gallery here: https://s.si.edu/2rwGlfv

Young Ambassadors Program Internships

Smithsonian Latino Center
Learn more about the Young Ambassadors Program internship experiences
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