5 Free Programs Streaming for Earth Week

Celebrate Earth Optimism with live webinars April 21 and 22

Celebrate Earth Optimism with the Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute. This week, join our experts for a series of engaging webinars with a focus on connecting students of all ages to conservation and sustainability.

Smithsonian Science How: Sea Lions | Wednesday, April 21 at 1 p.m. ET

A sea lion standing on its front flippers on a rock near water
Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute

Join animal keepers on a virtual field trip to meet and learn about sea lions! Students will get to see these curious marine mammals and hear about some of the special adaptations they have for life in the water. Keepers will also share how they care for sea lions, how they became interested in careers as zookeepers, and how students can help protect ocean ecosystems for sea lions and other aquatic species.

Optimized for students grades 3-5 but open to everyone. 45 minutes scheduled with up to 15 minutes added for extended student Q&A.

Registration is requested, but not required. Register for this event.

People Power! Citizen Scientists and the Smithsonian | Wednesday, April 21 at 7 p.m. ET

A camera trap photo of two black bears in a lush forest
Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute

Citizen science is a powerful, accessible way to conduct scientific research. By engaging volunteers, experts can expand their geographical range as well as quickly collect and analyze more data. Citizen science also offers the public opportunities to be partners in the discovery process, while playing an integral role in improving our understanding of the world around us.

In this session, meet Smithsonian researchers and volunteers involved in citizen science projects, such as eMammal, which uses motion-activated game cameras to understand and track the diversity of mammals throughout the U.S. Fossil Atmospheres examines modern and fossilized ginkgo leaves to understand how local climate patterns have changed through time. You’ll learn how you can get involved with these projects, as well as other citizen science efforts near you.


  • Alison Cawood (moderator), Citizen Science Coordinator, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center
  • Rich Barclay, Research Geologist and Paleobotanist, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
  • Linda Davidson, Maryland Master Naturalist and Volunteer with Fossil Atmospheres
  • Bill McShea, Wildlife Ecologist, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute
  • Johnny Stutzman, M.S. student, University of Wyoming and former camera trap project intern

Learn more and RSVP for this event.

Training Wildlife Veterinary and Conservation Professionals to Sustain Positive Change in the Face of Complex Global Challenge | Thursday, April 22 at 9 a.m. ET

Two researchers examine a net for arthropods in a grassy savannah, another person stands nearby
Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute

Join this live webinar discussion with a cross-section of Global Health Program fellows, interns and alumni, staff, and international partners. Panelists will share information on their backgrounds in veterinary medicine, wildlife conservation, research in emerging infectious diseases and pandemic threats, and how they balance Earth Optimism with efforts to address global health challenges.

Registration is not required. Join the live event.

Female Health Across the Tree of Life | Thursday, April 22 from 12-1:30 p.m. ET

A female giant panda stands in a grassy yard
Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute

Join us for a session focused on shared vulnerability that will highlight biodiversity and the female animal, and include discussion on evolutionary adaptations as related to women’s health. A plenary discussion will be followed by a series of 15-20 min presentations by undergraduate, medical, and veterinary students presenting their research on female health across the tree of life.

This program is hosted by the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute’s Global Health Program and organized by:

  • Dr. Dawn Zimmerman, D.V.M., Director of Wildlife eHealth, Veterinary Medical Officer, Global Health Program, Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute
  • Dr. Barbara N. Horowitz, M.D., Harvard Medical School, Harvard University’s Department of Human Evolutionary Biology and the Division of Cardiology at UCLA

Learn more and register for this event.

Conservation Success: Black-Footed Ferrets | Thursday, April 22 at 1 p.m. ET

A black-footed ferret stands on a rock
Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute

In this Earth Day webinar, we celebrate the conservation success of the black-footed ferret. Join animal care staff from the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute to hear how they care for black-footed ferrets from the time they are kits until they are released into the wild. Then, hear from SCBI ecologists who are working in the field to conserve many species in the Northern Great Plains where black-footed ferrets live. Engage with staff live as they share this conservation success story and ways students can help save wildlife.

Optimized for students Grades 3-5, but open to everyone. Real-time captioning provided. 45 minutes scheduled with up to 15 minutes added for extended student Q&A.

Registration is requested, but not required. Register for this event.