Environmental Preservation

Researchers keep finding dolls and doll body parts off the coast of Texas, where ocean currents push debris and garbage onto the beach.

Why Do Creepy Dolls Keep Washing Up on Texas Beaches?

Ocean currents push the unsettling toys—and tons of other trash—onto state shores

Greta Thunberg addresses climate strikers at Civic Center Park in Denver, Colorado.

Greta Thunberg Is Publishing the 'Ultimate Guide' to Climate Change

The book will feature contributions from over 100 novelists, scientists and activists

Millions of visitors flock each year to Yellowstone National Park, which is known for its thermal features and abundant wildlife. The park's nonprofit partner is offering a park pass for the year 2172 for a $1,500 donation.

Why Yellowstone Is Selling a Park Pass for the Year 2172

The national park’s fundraising arm is offering the futuristic pass for a $1,500 donation that will help preserve and protect wildlife, natural resources

Colorado's first laying out ceremony of human remains that were composted.

Colorado Composts Its First Human Remains

The state legalized biological decomposition of human remains, also known as 'natural reduction,' last year

A view of Teotihuacan, San Juan Teotihuacan, Mexico

Here Are the World's 25 Most Endangered Cultural Heritage Sites

The World Monument Fund's list includes sites in the Maldives, Pakistan, the United States and elsewhere, but was finalized before the war in Ukraine

"American Girl (above: the new doll Evette Peters) was seeking to emphasize to its young audience the importance of being able to envision themselves as part of the larger American story," writes the Smithsonian's Katrina Lashley. "And that vision requires more accessible histories, as well as role models in civic engagement."

Why This American Girl Doll Inspires Environmental Activism

The story of Evette Peters is bolstered by the Anacostia Community Museum's research into Washington D.C.'s local neighborhoods and urban waterways

A popular tourist site, Turkmenistan's Darvasa crater pit has been burning gas for over 50 years. The country's attempts to put out its flames have been unsuccessful. 

The Quest to Extinguish the Flames of Turkmenistan's Terrifying 'Gates of Hell' Firepit

The country's president says it’s time to quash the ongoing 50-year blaze at the 230-foot-wide Darvaza gas crater

Smithsonian scientist Genevieve Noyce conducts a plant census in a wetland at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center in Maryland.

 

How the Smithsonian Grapples With Climate Change

As a hub for research and education, the Institution is poised to help the world find solutions to the global challenge

Environmental scientist Alexandra Ordoñez Alvarez from the University of Queensland collects data in Far Northern Great Barrier Reef on Ashmore Bank.

Scientists Complete the First Map of the World's Coral Reefs

Nearly 100,000 square miles of the organism have been charted in high detail to create a tool for conservationists to help save them

The snail darter, a small fish that stopped construction of a federal dam project, is no longer threatened with extinction and can come off the Endangered Species List, wildlife officials say.

Trending Today

This Tiny, Endangered Fish Stopped Construction of a Federal Dam in 1975. Now, the Species Has Finally Recovered

The snail darter is no longer in threat of extinction and can be removed from the Endangered Species List

Italian officials are imposing new crowd-control regulations in hopes of preserving Venices fragile architecture and ecosystem.

Starting Next Summer, Day-Trippers Will Have to Pay to Enter Venice

To combat overcrowding, the Italian city is set to charge non-overnight visitors an entry fee of €3 to €10

Workers outside the village of Geldibuldu in southeastern Turkey in 1981, when researchers were collecting botanical remains at an archaeological site nearby.

Why British Archaeologists Are Battling With the Turkish Government Over Seeds

The ancient plants at the heart of the conflict are essential to science—and might hold clues to new superfoods

Members of the public take part in a blessing of the Lummi Nation totem pole in San Leandro, California, on June 3. The House of Tears Carvers toured the pole around the West Coast before embarking on a two-week journey to Washington, D.C.

Why Indigenous Activists Are Driving a 25-Foot Totem Pole Across the Country

Master carvers from the Lummi Nation, a Native tribe in Washington, crafted the 5,000-pound object from a single red cedar tree

Lake Mead generates electricity and supplies water to 25 million people in Western United States.

Hoover Dam's Lake Mead Hits Lowest Water Level Since 1930s

The reservoir generates electricity and supplies water to about 25 million people across tribal lands, farms and major cities

A wild giant otter photographed in the Bermejo River in Argentina's El Impenetrable National Park. This is the first time the species has been seen in Argentina in more than 30 years.

Planet Positive

Giant River Otter Spotted in Argentina for First Time in Decades

The first wild sighting of the species in Argentina since the 1980s, this surprise offers hope to conservationists looking to bring the otters back

New research estimates that Brazil's Atlantic Forest has regrown 4.2 million hectares of forest since 2000.

New Research

Globally, Forests the Size of France Have Grown Back Since 2000

New research illustrates the capacity of forests to regenerate if given the chance

Smithsonian Voices

Earth Day Is Digital Again, but Don't Let That Get You Down

Smoke lingers following fires in the Brazilian Amazon rainforest in August 2020.

New Research

Humans Have Altered 97 Percent of Earth's Land Through Habitat and Species Loss

The study, which did not include Antarctica, also identified opportunities to restore up to 20 percent of land ecosystems

As many commercial operators and homeowners are shifting to LEDs, which tend to fall somewhere in the blue-white spectrum, the new results may have important implications beyond tropical rainforests.

Using Amber-Filtered Bulbs Instead of White Light Attracts Fewer Bugs

In a tropical rainforest study, 60 percent fewer insects visited traps illuminated in a golden glow. Researchers say the results may be widely applicable

Women broke the glass ceiling of fire lookout positions almost as soon as the job was established.

Women Who Shaped History

Female Fire Lookouts Have Been Saving the Wilderness for Over a Century

Spotting smoke from towers on high peaks could have been deemed 'man's work,' but a few pioneers paved the way for generations of women to do the job

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