Smithsonian Global

Protecting the World’s Treasures. Asking Big Questions. Tackling the Future’s Challenges.
You may know us at Smithsonian for our museums and collections, but we’re also a global organization actively involved in conserving biodiversity, priceless art, and much more.

Discover the difference we’re making in communities around the world.
 

 


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Smithsonian Global

Discover the difference we're making in communities around the world.
Protecting the World’s Treasures.
Asking Big Questions.
Tackling the Future’s Challenges.
You may know us at Smithsonian for our museums and collections, but we’re also a global organization actively involved in conserving biodiversity, priceless art, and much more.

Our Work

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Smithsonian Approach

Our projects foster international collaboration and bring together governments, foundations, and the world’s leading thinkers and scientists. We bridge disciplines and borders, whether helping to save endangered species, rescuing art from the rubble, or inspiring tomorrow’s scientists and leaders. We ask tough questions. We take bold action. And we make the world a better—and better-informed—place.

See the Smithsonian Approach In Action

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Science and Conservation

From saving endangered species to monitoring marine environments, Smithsonian conducts research on the frontiers of science. We harness the best researchers in the world to promote healthy ecosystems, conserve biodiversity, and find ways to predict and mitigate global climate change.

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Culture and the Arts

Smithsonian celebrates and promotes artistic and cultural diversity and works to ensure that this diversity will continue to thrive for future generations. Our teams protect cultural heritage at risk, support established and emerging artists, and encourage cultural sustainability.

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Public Engagement

We create educational resources and programs that ignite curiosity and wonder in people of all ages. Through our museums, research centers, workshops, virtual classrooms and educational labs, we offer opportunities to engage students, teachers, and educational leaders worldwide.

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Learn About the Smithsonian Approach
Science and Conservation
Culture and the Arts
Public Engagement

Our Work

From saving endangered species to monitoring marine environments, Smithsonian conducts research on the frontiers of science. We harness the best researchers in the world to promote healthy ecosystems, conserve biodiversity, and find ways to predict and mitigate global climate change.

Smithsonian celebrates and promotes artistic and cultural diversity and works to ensure that this diversity will continue to thrive for future generations. Our teams protect cultural heritage at risk, support established and emerging artists, and encourage cultural sustainability.

We create educational resources and programs that ignite curiosity and wonder in people of all ages. Through our museums, research centers, workshops, virtual classrooms and educational labs, we offer opportunities to engage students, teachers, and educational leaders worldwide.

Open to Explore our Projects

Explore Some of Our Projects...

Smithsonian has been a global organization working across art, history, culture, and science since 1846. Discover how our people and programs are making a difference across the world.
  •   Science and Conservation
  •   Culture and the Arts
  •   Public Engagement
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American Spaces Reassessment and Design Project

Through the American Spaces Assessment and Redesign Project, Smithsonian experts in education, exhibition design, and public engagement are working with the State Department’s Bureau of International Information Programs to help connect international audiences with American culture and values at more than 700 locations worldwide.

700
American Spaces Worldwide
169
Countries with American Spaces
40
Site Visits to and Virtual Consultations with American Spaces Sites by Smithsonian Content, Design, and Training Experts Since 2011
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Slave Wrecks Project

With the Slave Wrecks Project, the Smithsonian and a group of international partners seek to bring greater awareness to the study of sunken slave ships and build capacity for research and education in the field of maritime archaeology.

12
million Africans estimated to have been enslaved during the 350 years of the trans-Atlantic slave trade
1000
+ slaver shipwrecks are known to have occurred
200
people perished aboard the São José, a wreckage found off the coast of South Africa as part of a first-of-its-kind international research collaboration
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Traveling "Beyond Bollywood" to India

In 2014, the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center’s exhibition Beyond Bollywood: Indian Americans Shape the Nation traveled to New Delhi, Goa, Chennai, and Kolkata in India, in partnership with the U.S. Department of State. This touring exhibition was a part of the U.S. government’s cultural diplomacy efforts in India, opening conversations and breaking down stereotypes to help build closer relationships between the peoples of these two countries.

60000
Visitors in 4 days in Kolkata
5
Cities in India Visited
6
Years to Create Exhibition
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The Giant Magellan Telescope

The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory is working with a group of international partners to build the first of a new generation of the world’s largest and most powerful telescopes. 

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Spark!Lab Pop-Up Kyiv

Spark!Lab demonstrates the central role that invention plays in American history. After its success in Washington, DC, Spark!Lab is expanding to sites around the world.

32000
People Attended the Opening of Spark!Lab at Art Arsenal
100
Student Volunteers
2
Kyiv Museum Staff Trained at the Lemelson Center
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Using Satellite Technology to Track and Conserve Asian Elephants in Myanmar

Smithsonian scientists are using satellite technology to better understand how we can conserve the critically endangered Asian elephant. 

40000
Asian Elephants Remain in the Wild
13
Countries Where Wild Asian Elephants Live
14
Elephants Collared in Myanmar Since 2002
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Bird Friendly® Coffee Program

In 1996, the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center (SMBC) organized and hosted the First Sustainable Coffee Congress. 

1996
Year SMBC Organized the First Sustainable Coffee Congress
1997
Establishment of the World’s First and Only 100% Organic and Shade-Grown Coffee Certification: Bird Friendly® Coffee
1150
Growers of Bird Friendly® Coffee Worldwide
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Haiti Cultural Recovery Project

After the devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Smithsonian worked with a wide array of dedicated, caring professionals from around the world to support the recovery of damaged and at risk Haitian cultural heritage.

30000
Artworks Recovered
100
Haitian Professionals Trained
13
International Partner Organizations
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Deep Reef Observation Project (DROP)

The Deep Reef Observation Project (DROP) is a Smithsonian effort to explore life on poorly studied tropical deep reefs and monitor changes in these ecosystems over time.

50
New Fish Species Discovered
40
Percent of Samples are Unknown Species
25
Percent of Marine Life Lives in Coral Reefs
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Reef Recovery Initiative

Smithsonian Marine Biologist Mary Hagedorn leads The Reef Recovery Initiative, a global effort to collect and save threatened and endangered coral reefs.

12
Species of Coral Sperm Banked in Smithsonian Collections
75
Percent of Coral Reefs Being Pushed Towards Extinction
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Harnessing Reproductive Science to Save Cheetahs

Smithsonian scientist Adrienne Crosier created a first-of-its-kind cheetah biobank of genetic material in Namibia. Working with local Namibian students and the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF), led by Smithsonian Research Fellow Laurie Marker, Adrienne and our international partners are able to increase genetic diversity of the cheetah population.

11000
Cheetahs Worldwide
27
Cheetahs (in 7 Litters) Born in Human Care at SCBI
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Tropospheric Emissions: Monitoring of Pollution (TEMPO)

For more than three decades, scientists at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) have been monitoring the atmosphere and studying ozone, greenhouse gases, and air pollution. Now, with funding from NASA, SAO is developing the first space-based instrument to continuously monitor air pollution across North America. 

30
Years of Smithsonian Atmospheric Research
3
International Pollution-Monitoring Satellites, including TEMPO
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Conserving Eld's Deer in Myanmar

Through long-term engagement and partnership in Myanmar, scientists at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute are working to ensure the future of the Eld’s deer and conservation of its habitat. 

2500
Eld's Deer Remaining in the Wild
2011
Year of the First Eld's Deer Birth From a SCBI-developed In Vitro Fertilization Process
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Cerro Ballena

In 2011, Smithsonian paleontologists heard rumors of a large number of marine fossils while working in the Atacama Region of Chile. This site, Cerro Ballena, or  “whale hill” in Spanish, contained the skeletons of more than 40 whales and other marine mammals. 

40
Skeletons of Whales and Other Marine Mammals Found at Cerro Ballena
42
Million Fossil Specimens in Smithsonian Collections (NMNH)
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Supporting Museums in Oman

In 2010, Smithsonian collaborated with the Sultanate of Oman and the Omani Ministry of Heritage and Culture to transform the Oman Natural History Museum into a powerful educational and scientific resource. Smithsonian and Omani staff developed a master plan for the museum, including a mission and vision, staffing plan, collections management plan, and an organizational plan.

9
Omani Museum Professionals at Trainings in Washington, DC
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Advising Abu Dhabi on Blue Carbon Pools

Smithsonian scientists are working to advocate for mangrove conservation by quantifying the role these coastal forests play in climate mitigation.

30
Sites Worldwide Where Smithsonian Monitors Mangrove Ecosystems
66
Percent of Emirati Volunteers are Women
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Conserving Migratory Birds: Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center (SMBC)

The Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center is dedicated to understanding, conserving, and championing the grand phenomenon of bird migration. 

1
Gram = Weight of Newly Developed GPS Tracker
20
Grams = Weight of Small Songbirds
12
Grams = Weight of Previous Trackers
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Protecting Endangered Mangroves around the World

Smithsonian science is laying the groundwork for mangrove conservation. 

50
% of the World's Mangroves are Gone
35
Percent of Mangroves Disappeared Since the Mid-1980s
30
Sites Worldwide Where Smithsonian Monitors Mangrove Ecosystems
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Marine Conservation Program

Smithsonian's Marine Conservation Program is an interdisciplinary research program to understand changes over space and time in commercially and ecologically important coral reef species.

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Safeguarding the Heritage of Syria and Iraq (SHOSI)

Smithsonian works with international partners to stem the destruction of cultural heritage in Syria and Iraq.

1600
Sq. Ft. of Priceless Mosaics Protected in Syria
5
International Partner Organizations
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Agua Salud

The Agua Salud Project at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) in Panama studies how degraded landscapes can be efficiently transformed into productive secondary forests, timber plantations, natural water utilities or eco-friendly livestock ranches. Agua Salud continues a 100-year old partnership between Smithsonian and Panama. This collaborative relationship began in 1910, with the Panama Biological Survey.

2
Million People Rely on the Panama Canal Watershed
9
Experimental Watershed Locations at the Agua Salud Site
150000
Trees Planted at Agua Salud Since 2007
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Science for Monks

Smithsonian works with the Sager Foundation and the Exploratorium to build science capacity in Tibetan monastic communities through the Science for Monks program. The program fulfills a mandate from His Holiness the Dalai Lama to create a mutually beneficial dialogue between Tibetan Buddhist practices and modern science.

300
Monastic Graduates of the Science for Monks Program
7
Science Centers in Development at Tibetan Monasteries
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Recovering Voices

Through archival materials in our collections—sound recordings, field notes, books, and artifacts—Smithsonian’s Recovering Voices initiative helps reconnect individuals and communities with their linguistic traditions and sustain endangered languages for generations to come.  

7000
Languages Spoken Around the World Today
4
% of World Population speaks 96% of World Languages
50
% of Languages Will Not be Spoken or Heard by 2100*
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Celebrating and Sustaining Cultural Diversity in Colombia

For more than 10 years, Smithsonian’s Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage (CFCH) has worked with artisans, local communities, and the Colombian government to document and celebrate the great diversity and beauty of Colombia’s intangible cultural heritage, or living culture. 

100
Artists, Weavers, Dancers, and Musicians
3
Times that Colombia Restaged the Festival
1
Latin Grammy-Award-Winning Album in 2007
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Arctic Crashes Project: Yakutat Harbor Seals

The Smithsonian’s Arctic Crashes project is an international collaborative study exploring the history of polar animal fluctuations and the shifting scientific, cultural, and public interpretations of human-animal interactions in the Arctic.

8
Countries with 28 Arctic Crashes Research Sites
43
International Researchers From Disciplines Including Anthropology, Archaeology, History
10
Indigenous Community Partnerships
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Caribbean Indigenous Legacies Project

The Caribbean Indigenous Legacies Project retells the story of the Columbus encounter and celebrates the survival and vibrancy of Native Taíno culture and people today.

3
Million or 90% of Native Population of the Caribbean May Have Died by the Early 1500s
500
Years of History Being Reexamined by the Caribbean Indigenous Legacies Project
4000
+ Square Foot Bilingual Exhibition Planned to be Held in DC
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Humpback Highway: Creating Traffic Separation Schemes to Protect Whales in the Eastern Pacific

Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute marine biologist Hector M. Guzman used satellite tracking data to compare the movement of humpback whales in Panama’s Las Perlas Archipelago with the courses of hundreds of container and tanker ships over the course of six seasons.

1000
+ Humpback Whales Gather to Breed in the Gulf of Panama Each Year, and Whales are at High Risk of Colliding With or Being Killed by Ships
25
+ Whales in the Gulf of Panama Were Tagged with Satellite Transmitters to Compare Their Movements with the Known Courses of 1000 Ships
93
Percent Estimated Reduction in Whale-Ship Interactions in the Gulf of Panama Through the Implementation of Restricted Shipping Lanes
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Smithsonian Tree Banding Project in Gabon

In 2013, with the help of Hervé Memiaghe, a Gabonese forest ecologist who traveled to the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) to learn to use dendrometers in his research, two middle schools in Gabon, Africa joined other schools around the globe to contribute to the project.

500
Schools and Institutions Participated in the Smithsonian Tree Banding Project, Including Two Middle Schools in Gabon
20
Students are Monitoring 12 Trees in a Forest Near a Research Plot in Gamba, Gabon Using $2 Tree Bands
80
Percent of Gabon is Covered in Forests, and 1.8 Million People Rely on Products and Services From the Forest to Support the Economy
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Healthy Reefs for Healthy People

Smithsonian scientist Melanie McField leads Healthy Reefs for Healthy People, a multi-institutional effort to support conservation of the Mesoamerican Reef by tracking its health and making recommendations to policymakers in order to effect real, positive change for the health of the reef.

60
+ Partners Working to Maintain and Improve the Health of the MAR and Support the Communities who Depend on it
1000
+ km Along the Coasts of Belize, Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras
2
Million People Depend on the MAR for Their Livelihoods
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ForestGEO: Ngel Nyaki

Smithsonian is joining with local communities and the Nigerian Montane Forest Project to better understand and conserve montane forests in Nigeria.

63
Forest Plots in 24 Countries are Part of ForestGEO
46
Square Kilometers of Montane Forest Left in Nigeria.
10
Local Villagers Catalogue 20-hectare Forest Plot
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UV Effects on Phytoplankton

Smithsonian researcher Patrick Neale and his lab at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center are studying UV impacts on phytoplankton in the Antarctic oceans to help create models of how phytoplankton respond in various scenarios of climate change. 

50
Percent of the World’s Oxygen is Produced by Marine Plants like Phytoplankton
30
to 50 Percent of Human-Produced Carbon Dioxide May be Absorbed by the Ocean Carbon Cycle
120
Samples of Suspended Phytoplankton are Simultaneously Irradiated to Look at UV Impacts in a Smithsonian-Invented Device
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The Mongolian-Smithsonian Deer Stone Project (DSP)

The Smithsonian-Mongolian Deer Stone Project is demonstrating how researchers can work with local communities to support the restoration and preservation of cultural heritage.

15
Years the Mongolian-Smithsonian Deer Stone Project has Been Documenting Archaeological and Modern Cultural Heritage in Northern Mongolia
550
Deer Stones Documented in Mongolia Since 2001 Using Archaeological Surveys, Ethnobotanical Field Reports, Digital Scanning, and Site Surveys

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