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Animating the Ocean

image from Finding Nemo
Image courtesy: Pixar Animation Studios

What: In this presentation geared toward families, the audience will learn how Hollywood uses and adapts underwater/ocean stories, and how major motion picture studios produce underwater animation. Excerpts from the film Finding Nemo will be highlighted.

When: Saturday, December 6th at 2pm

Where: Baird Auditorium

Crochet a Coral Reef

crocheted coral reef
Photo © The Institute for Figuring (by Alyssa Gorelick)

What: Margaret Wertheim, a physicist, journalist and co-founder of the Institute For Figuring, will discuss her crochet coral reef project – an effort that draws on art, mathematics and science to bring the world's attention to the plight of coral reefs.  Wertheim's reefs have been exhibited in Chicago, London and New York, among other locations. Wertheim and Nancy Knowlton, the NMNH Sant Chair for Marine Science, will give a short talk about coral reefs, ocean conservation, and the art of crocheting a representation of a coral reef. Following the talk, audience members will have the opportunity to participate in a crochet workshop. Those wishing to attend the workshop should meet in Baird Auditorium following the discussion, and will be escorted by museum staff to the workshop location.

When: December 7th
Lecture 1:00 - 2:15 pm
Workshop 2:30 - 5:00 pm

Where: Baird Auditorium

Second Saturday Arts and the Ocean

book cover from NOAA photo library
Image courtesy: NOAA Photo Library

What: Fun and free activities for children of all ages! Come down to the Museum on the second Saturday of the month and you could be making ocean-themed collages, singing sea chanteys, or making an ocean pop-up book. Click on the links below to find out more about each event.


Where: Baird Ambulatory (Ground Floor)

Lecture Series: The Archaeology of North American Coastal Adaptations

salmon-inspired craft
Image courtesy: Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

What: A Friday illustrated lecture series in November 2008 presented by the NMNH Anthropology Department and The Archaeological Conservancy


Where: Baird Auditorium

Classic Ocean Film Series

cover of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea dvd

What: A free, two-afternoon series of classic films where the ocean is the star! Be sure to join us on Nov. 16th for special insights and discussion with senior scientist Dr. David Pawson of the Museum's Department of Invertebrate Zoology.


Where: Baird Auditorium

Thursday Mornings at the Smithsonian

Photograph courtesy: Smithsonian Institution

What: a four-part lecture series about the ocean featuring scientists from the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, presented by the Smithsonian Resident Associates, get tickets here

When: Thursday mornings at 10:30am

  • October 23rd - "The edge of some unfamiliar world: exploration of the great ocean depths, then and now." David Pawson, Ph. D., Senior Scientist, Invertebrate Zoology
  • October 30th - "Treasures from the Deep." Jeffrey E. Post, Ph. D., Curator of the National Gem and Mineral Collection
  • November 6th - "He waka ururu kapua - A canoe to dare the clouds of heaven: Smithsonian encounters with ocean-going canoes of the North Pacific." Stephen Loring, Ph. D., Anthropologist, National Museum of Natural History
  • November 13th - "Coral Reefs: canary in the environmental coal mine?" Nancy Knowlton, Ph. D., Sant Chair of Marine Science

Where: Baird Auditorium (Ground Floor)

Last chance! Ocean Views closes October 26th

Photo by: Kevin Schafer

What: Photographs from the exhibition, Ocean Views, courtesy of Nature's Best Magazine.

When: This exhibit closes Saturday October 26, 2008

Where: Second Floor

Lecture and Book-signing by Dr. Sylvia Earle

Dr. Sylvia Earle
Photograph courtesy: Sylvia Earle (photo by Becky Hale)

What: Marine biologist and author Dr. Sylvia Earle gives a lecture followed by a book-signing of her new book, Ocean: An Illustrated Atlas and Wild Ocean: America's Parks Under the Sea

When: October 18th from 11am-12noon (lecture) and 12noon-1pm (signing

Where: Baird Auditorium (lecture) and Museum Store (signing)


Tlingit Elder George J. Bennett Sr. - Gallery Talk

raven canoe
Photograph courtesy: Brian Wallace and the Juneau Empire

What: George J. Bennett Sr. (clan spokesperson and chairperson for the Tlingit and Haida Elders Advisory Council) discusses Tlingit works in the collection, including the recently carved Northwest Coast canoe by a Tlingit master carver. By helping his people to keep their traditional way of life and to learn their language, he has been able to pursue his mission of bridging traditional knowledge through his art.

When: October 10th at 3:15pm

Where: The Sant Ocean Hall

Designing an Ocean-themed Opera:
The Pearl Fishers


Zandra Rhodes
Photograph courtesy of Zandra Rhodes

What: an illustrated lecture and book-signing by renowned fashion and set designer Zandra Rhodes

When: Friday,September 19, 2008
6:45pm (lecture) and 7:45pm (book-signing)

Where: Baird Auditorium (lecture) and Museum Store, ground floor, National Museum of Natural History (book-signing)

This event is free and open to the public. Learn more here!




Deep Sea 3-D


Deep Sea 3-D

What: a Smithsonian Resident Associates special IMAX film screening with filmmaker Toni Meyers, tickets are required for this event - get them here

When: Wednesday, September 17, 2008 7:00pm

Where:Johnson IMAX Theater at the National Museum of Natural History

Learn more about this exciting event!




Celebration of the "Raven Canoe"

close-up of the ocean hall's new raven canoe
Photograph courtesy of the carver, Douglas “Kevin” Chilton, Juneau, Alaska

What: a celebration for the arrival of our Tlingit dug-out canoe, hand-crafted by master carver, Douglas Chilton, for the Museum for display in our new ocean hall

When: Thursday, June 19, 2008 2:00-4:00pm

Where: Baird Auditorium at the National Museum of Natural History

Learn more about this exciting event!



Once Upon a Tide

Girl looking at fish
From Once Upon a Tide.
Image courtesy:Center for Health and the Global Environment, Harvard Medical School

What: an educational film suitable for all ages, this event is free and open to the public

When: Thursday, March 20, 2008 6:30pm

Where: Baird Auditorium at the National Museum of Natural History

Learn more about this exciting event!

Once Upon a Tide is brought to you by: The Center for Health and the Global Environment, Harvard Medical School in cooperation with The National Museum of Natural History's Ocean Science Initiative

For further information:
Contact Natalie Wicklund at the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School at 617 384 8530 or




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