Articles by Jennie Rothenberg Gritz

A rainbow appears after a storm on the faux-Martian habitat.

Inside the Experiment to Create Mars on Earth

A hostile landscape. Cramped quarters. Dehydrated food. A photographer takes part in an attempt to live on another planet

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The Wonder of Avi Loeb

The physicist thinks we might have glimpsed evidence of an alien civilization. Despite controversy, he’s determined to find more

Women who responded to the call of duty on 9/11, shown at the Ground Zero Memorial in Lower Manhattan. Back row: EMT Bonnie Giebfried, NYPD Chief of Transportation Kim Royster, NYPD Chief of Interagency Operations Theresa Tobin, Firefighter Regina Wilson. Front row (all now retired): FDNY Captain Brenda Berkman, Detective Sergeant Sue Keane, Assistant Port Authority Police Chief Norma Hardy.

Twenty Years Later, First Responders and Families Remember the People They Lost on 9/11

These portraits of resilience recall the day when loved ones, friends and colleagues perished in the terrorist attacks

Thirteen-year-old Pedro de Frutos stands inside a dormant volcano near Timanfaya National Park. A series of eruptions
began in 1730 and lasted six years.

Learning to Love the Hardscrabble Life on Lanzarote

A photographic tour of those who eke out a life on the sunblasted island transformed by a volcano

Leafhoppers are known for devastating crops like potatoes and grapes. But they can be a benign presence within a balanced jungle ecosystem.

Planet Positive

The Wild World of a New Nature Preserve in Ecuador

Scientists have already begun discovering new species in the hotbed of biodiversity

Waimea Bay takes its name from the Hawaiian word for "reddish-brown waters."

What the Survival of the Hawaiian Language Means to Those Who Speak It

A Smithsonian curator recalls his own experience learning the native tongue

Donna Hayashi Smith, a curator, has been in charge of everything from borrowing famous paintings to handling a 19th-century menorah. Here, she holds a French porcelain vase from 1820.

Behind the Scenes With the White House Residence's Long-Serving Staff

A former first lady salutes the long-serving workers who keep the nation’s foremost home running smoothly

Shannon LaNier, a TV news anchor, has complex feelings about being descended from Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings. “He was a brilliant man who preached equality, but he didn’t practice it. He owned people. And now I’m here because of it.”

These Portraits Revisit the Legacies of Famous Americans

Photographer Drew Gardner painstakingly recreates the images with the notable figures' descendants

Ecologist and Smithsonian associate Aung Myo Chit soothes an elephant in Myanmar after it was fitted with a collar.

Planet Positive

Researchers Are Learning How Asian Elephants Think—in Order to Save Them

As the pachyderms increasingly clash with farmers and villagers over disappearing land, scientists study the way the animals' minds work

The coastline of Quadra Island in British Columbia. Some scientists believe that prehistoric humans spent thousands of years in the region.

The Story of How Humans Came to the Americas Is Constantly Evolving

Surprising new clues point to the arrival taking place thousands of years earlier than previously believed

Left, Giovanni Maria de Agostini, a peripatetic Italian monk who was banished from Brazil, reached northern New Mexico on foot in 1863. He holed up on a mountain that would become known as Hermit Peak, today the object of an annual pilgrimage. Right, view of Hermit Peak.

The Inspiring Monk Who Lived in a New Mexico Cave

The mountaintop home of an Italian hermit who lived in the U.S. in the 1860s still attracts a handful of pilgrims

Aaron Wixson, a Marine field artillery radar operator in Oceanside, California, transitioned from female to
male in 2016. His biggest challenge was getting everybody to change the pronouns they used for him. “Some of them
said, ‘We’ve been calling you “her” for so long.’”

America at War

The Faces Behind Transgender Troops' Struggle for Acceptance

Meet some of the servicemembers at the center of one of the most controversial matters facing the U.S. military

Wanderlust

How Graffiti Artists Used iPhones and Paint to Transform the Beatles’ Ashram

Miles Toland describes how he captured Indian street scenes on his phone and recreated them as giant murals that same day

The Unsavory History of Sugar, the Insatiable American Craving

How the nation got hooked on sweets

LIGO's founding fathers, from left: Rainer Weiss, Kip Thorne and Barry Barish. Not pictured: Ronald Drever

American Ingenuity Awards

Meet the Team of Scientists Who Discovered Gravitational Waves

This year, the geniuses behind LIGO announced that they had finally found what Albert Einstein had predicted a century ago

David Lynch

American Ingenuity Awards

Director David Lynch Wants Schools to Teach Transcendental Meditation to Reduce Stress

The acclaimed filmmaker has become the champion of the practice that's now been adopted by thousands of kids

A Hadza elder wears a roughly tanned wild-animal skin over a T-shirt. The skin strips on his bow reinforce his weapon while the furs attest to his recent kills. His headband is not traditionally Hadza; members of the tribe have begun to adopt styles from neighboring groups.

Get Face to Face With the Tribes of Tanzania

As safari parks encroach on their ancestral lands, indigenous groups struggle to maintain their ways of life

The Browns in Topeka, Kansas

The Children of Civil Rights Leaders Are Keeping Their Eyes on the Prize

The next generation is following in the footsteps of its forebears

Mary Reynolds sits in a moss-covered pod designed by the West Cork artist Peter Little.

The Unlikely, Charming Designer Who Is Changing the Face of Gardening

With weeds, critters and Celtic symbols, Mary Reynolds is transforming what it means to garden

A diagram of Reynolds's gardens

Take a Closer Look at Mary Reynolds’s Innovative Celtic Gardens

The award-winning landscape designer bases her ideas on the four seasons, but with a regional twist

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