Q 2 (Smithsonian National Museum Of Natural History)


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Q 2 (Smithsonian National Museum Of Natural History)

  1. 1. The World’s Most Discover Culture Preeminent Museum Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History The Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History is the most visited natural history museum in the world and the most visited museum in the Smithsonian complex. (more than 7 million visits in 2007.) Opened in 1910, the NMNH is dedicated to maintaining and preserving the world’s most extensive collection of natural history specimens and human artifacts. It also fosters significant scientific research, as well as educational programs and exhibitions that present the work of its scientists to the public. A look inside the Dinosaur Hall at the National Museum of Natural History. Cristian Samper, Museum Director (Photo courtesy of the Smithsonian Institution) Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History A number of affiliated U.S. government agen- more than 126 million objects and specimens cies contribute to the museum’s strength as in its collections. The Smithsonian’s Museum a research center. These include the Department Support Center in Suitland, Md., provides state- of Interior (Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. of-the-art conditions for storage and conservation Geological Survey), Department of Agriculture of collections, as well as a library and advanced (Systematic Entomology Laboratory), Department research facilities. of Commerce (National Marine Fisheries Service Permanent exhibitions display some of the Systematics Laboratory), NOAA and the Depart- best-known museum objects in the world. The Janet ment of Defense. Annenberg Hooker Hall of Geology, Gems and The museum is home to scientific staff and Minerals showcases the Hope Diamond and other research associates who conduct expeditions treasures of the National Gem Collection. It also and studies worldwide that contribute to the encompasses re-created mines and galleries that advancement of scientific knowledge. This present important research in mineral chemistry work enhances everyday life in ways that yield and physics; plate tectonics, seismology and the benefits to society, including the development of study of volcanoes; and planetary science. medicines, improvement of the world’s food supply, The museum is dedicated to bringing definitive management and preservation of important species scientific content to audiences across the United and habitats, and the identification of invasive States through electronic field trips, video species. conferences and hands-on learning activities for Cristián Samper is the museum’s Director, school groups and the public. Innovative facilities overseeing approximately 450 full-time employees pioneered by the museum include the Discovery with an annual (fiscal year 2008) budget of $67 Room, where visitors are able to examine objects million. The staff includes Smithsonian scientists; up close; and the Naturalist Center, a resource and collaborating research associates and fellows; reference center in Loudoun County, Virginia, where and a professional team of educators, exhibition visitors have access to natural history specimens developers, designers, information specialists, and reference books. The museum also presents building managers, administrators, security free programs, including films personnel and support staff. The scientific staff and lectures. is organized in seven departments: anthropology, The museum provides off-site access to the botany, entomology, mineral sciences, invertebrate physical collections through one of the most zoology, paleobiology and vertebrate zoology. active museum loan and exchange programs in Interdisciplinary research programs bring together the world. The Web site provides public electronic scientists from the museum’s departments and access to departmental databases, as well as to research institutions throughout the world. These online exhibitions and up-to-date information about programs address topics of current importance to museum programs. society, such as biological diversity, global climate The National Museum of Natural History is change, molecular systematics for enhancing dedicated to understanding the natural world and the understanding of the relationship between our place in it. living things, ecosystem modeling, and the documentation and preservation of human cultural heritages. www.mnh.si.edu The museum is the steward of the world’s tel +1.202.633.1000 largest assemblage of natural history items, with 11 Best of DC Best of DC 215 An African bull elephant greets visitors in the rotunda of the National Museum of Natural History (photo courtesy of the Smithsonian Institution )