Our Planet


Our Love Affair with Lawns

Americans take lawn care very seriously, spending billions to keep their perfectly clipped grass green and absolutely weed free

Equinox seen from the astronomic calendar of Pizzo Vento at Fondachelli Fantina, Sicily


It took two millennia to get the one we now use; we owe a lot to the sun and moon, to Caesar, Pope Gregory and, oh yes, the Earl of Chesterfield


Forget Y2K!


Salt of the Earth

We can't live without it. Salt runs through our language, our history, and our veins

National Museum of Natural History

Expanding a Mission

The National Museum of Natural History aims to become a hub for science education

Rafinesque Constantine Samuel 1783-1840

An "Odd Fish" Who Swam Against the Tide

The pioneering naturalist Constantine Rafinesque did just about everything, and he always did it his way

Dominique Voynet, 2008

Coming to Terms

Our names for people who respect the environment should be as varied as the ways we see it


Let it Snow

Ski resorts have snowmaking down to a science – now sometimes the real stuff gets in the way


The Sargasso Sea

Out in the Atlantic, strange creatures make their home among seaweed in a floating lens of warm water


The Battle of the Dams

Those who think some of our rivers are a dammed shame argue for the structures to come down


Wiring the Jersey Coast

In one spot on the continental shelf, scientists aim to understand all that happens, 24 hours a day


When Plants Migrate

The study of how plants moved north after the last ice age could mean new directions for conservation


The Long, Cold Journey of Ice Station SHEBA

Climate scientists go with the floe


The Incredible Sponge

It may seem primitive, but it can do some things you wouldn't want to try at home


Waiting, Waiting . . . CLICK

Charting a New Course

Establishing a permanent marine station heralds an era of progress for Smithsonian research


Racing to Revive Our Embattled Elms


Geology That's Alive

Volcanologist Richard Fiske loves fieldwork most of all--when he's on the job, the Earth moves

Coyote Creek

A Creek Defies the Odds

Thanks to 300 volunteers, steelhead are back again, despite highways, offices and a campus


Will the Dunes March Once Again?

As recently as 200 years ago, dunes and sheet sand were active throughout the Great Plains. A serious drought could bring them back

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