Smithsonian Voices

The Smithsonian Institution has hundreds of scholars, researchers and curators, each with an amazing story to tell about their work, their quests and their passions. Here is a sampling of the unique voices that make up the chorus of ideas at the Institution.

Cody Ayon (Tsistsistas [Southern Cheyenne]) enlisted in both the U.S. Navy and the New Mexico Army National Guard. The Native community of Albuquerque welcomed then-Lieutenant Ayon home with a Soldier Dance after his service during the Iraq War. (Steven Clevenger [Osage], courtesy of Cody Ayon)
Poultney Bigelow. Sketch by Poultney Bigelow for Edith Weir (detail), 1884 April 18. Weir family papers. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Spindly legs and thick, red fur have earned them the nickname “foxes on stilts,” but maned wolves are neither fox nor wolf.
Jodi Picoult, Deepak Chopra, and Kevin Kwan are among the authors speaking at Smithsonian Associates Streaming programs this fall.

Photo left to right (Rainer Hosch, Michael-Allen, Jessica Chou)
While digging through decaying carcasses, vultures expose themselves to dangerous pathogens. Gary Graves studies the unique microorganisms in the guts of these birds that help them resist infections. (Joyce Cory)
Henry Ossawa Tanner,
Smithsonian anthropologists hold up the world’s longest beard after it was donated to the National Museum of Natural History in 1967. (Smithsonian)
Photograph of Chiura Obata teaching a children's art class at Tanforan Art School, 1942 / unidentified photographer. Chiura Obata papers. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Southern elephant seals normally live in the South Atlantic, often as far south as Antarctica. These are young male Southern elephant seals from the South Shetland and Anvers islands, Antarctica. (Daniel Costa / University of California, Santa Cruz under the National Marine Fisheries Service permits (numbers 87-1593 and 87-1851-00) and ACA authorization)
Omaca, the sample eating Tapir (tried, but did not succeed). Jokes aside, a remarkable animal to be around while doing science! Photo credit: Benjamin Blonder.