National Museum of Natural History

Six Free Natural History Programs Streaming in January

Take a virtual field trip to the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute to see clouded leopards in a National Museum of Natural History Program streaming Jan 13. (Smithsonian)
Take a virtual field trip to the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute to see clouded leopards in a National Museum of Natural History Program streaming Jan 13. (Smithsonian)

A virtual field trip to the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute; a guided, at-home scientific illustration activity and a behind-the-scenes tour of the O. Orkin Insect Zoo; stream these free programs and more this January through the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History.

Virtual Tour of the Insect Zoo
Jan. 6, 11 a.m. ET

A brown and black insect with antennae.
Go on a virtual tour of the museum’s live insect zoo on Jan. 6. (Smithsonian)

Join Insect Zoo Lead Chris Mooney as he takes you behind-the-scenes at the National Museum of Natural History’s O. Orkin Insect Zoo. See real insects, including beetles, leaf cutter ants and walking sticks; learn about the unique features that help them survive and find out what it takes to be an animal keeper and scientist.

This webinar is designed for students in grades 3-5. It will be archived and available on the museum’s website after it airs on Jan. 6.

Natural History at Home – Stripes of All Types
Jan. 9, 11 a.m. ET

A person at a table drawing.
Create your own page from a nature book alongside illustrator Susan Stockdale in a National Museum of Natural History program streaming on Jan. 9. (Photo courtesy of Susan Stockdale)

In this interactive webinar, special guest, author and illustrator Susan Stockdale will read her book "Stripes of All Types" and talk about how natural history inspires her book creations. Stockdale will help you create your own nature-inspired artwork as she walks you through the process she uses to develop her books.

Virtual Field Trip to the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute
Jan. 13, 1 p.m. ET

The face of a leopard.
Go behind the scenes at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute to see clouded leopards in a National Museum of Natural History Program streaming Jan 13. (Janice Sveda, Smithsonian's National Zoo via CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Travel virtually with Juan Rodriguez to the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute. See clouded leopards and learn about some of the special features they have that make them excellent forest habitants. Rodriguez will show you how he cares for these elusive animals, talk about what it is like being a Zookeeper and supporting clouded leopard conservation.

This webinar is designed for students in grades 3-5. It will be approximately 45 minutes with interactive polls and Q&A, followed by an optional, extended 15-minute Q&A. It will be archived and available on the National Museum of Natural History’s website after it airs on Jan. 13.

How Humans Thrive in Extreme Environments
Jan. 21, 11:30 a.m. ET

A person in front of cacti.
Ask anthropologist Christina Balentine anything about how you evolved to survive in extreme environments in a National Museum of Natural History program streaming Jan. 21. (Photo courtesy of Christina Balentine)

Humans can thrive in seemingly intolerable environments all over the world: at extremely high altitudes in the Himalayas; in freezing cold in the Arctic and in toxic, arsenic-rich regions in the Andes Mountains. Tune in for a conversation with Christina Balentine, an anthropological geneticist and PhD Candidate at the University of Texas at Austin. She will talk about how we evolved to survive in extreme environments and answer your questions about human evolution.

This program is part of the museum’s ongoing HOT (Human Origins Today) Topic series. It is moderated by Briana Pobiner, a paleoanthropologist and educator at Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History.

Tour the National Zoo’s Coral Lab from Home
Jan. 22, 1 p.m. ET

Live coral reef.
Find out what corals are and why they are important in a National Museum of Natural History program streaming Jan. 22. (Smithsonian's National Zoo)

Join Thomas Wippenback from the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute on a virtual field trip to the Zoo’s Science Gallery, where he manages several tanks of live corals. Wippenback will explain what corals are, why they are important and how he keeps them alive. He will also talk about how he got interested in a science and how his work supports coral and coral reef conservation.

This webinar is designed for students in grades 3-5. It will be approximately 45 minutes with interactive polls and Q&A, followed by an optional, extended 15-minute Q&A. It will be archived and available on the National Museum of Natural History’s website after it airs on Jan. 22.

Visit the National Zoo’s Reptile Discovery Center Virtually
Jan. 27, 1 p.m. ET

A kimodo dragon in a zoo enclosure.
See a Komodo dragon when you tour the National Zoo’s Reptile Discovery Center from your couch in a National Museum of Natural History Program streaming on Jan. 27. (Matt Neff, Smithsonian's National Zoo, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Tune in for a virtual field trip to the National Zoo’s Reptile Discovery center. You will see lizards, including a skink, gecko and baby Komodo dragon, and learn about their special survival adaptations. Zookeeper Kyle Miller will share how he got interested in science and working with animals and advice for those who might want to do the same.

This webinar is designed for students in grades 3-5. It will be approximately 45 minutes with interactive polls and Q&A, followed by an optional, extended 15-minute Q&A. It will be archived and available on the National Museum of Natural History’s website after it airs on Jan. 27.

Related stories:
Seven Free Natural History Programs Streaming in December
Seven Ways to Learn About Natural History From Home
Try These Hands-on Activities in the Smithsonian’s New Fossil Hall

Anna Torres

Anna Torres is a Public Affairs Specialist at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. She translates the museum’s science and history-based research and collections information into compelling stories through media relations and the museum’s blog, with additional duties in communications and public affairs. When she isn’t at the museum, Anna spends her time traveling and playing soccer. Anna holds an MA in history and public history from American University.

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