Wayne Clough, 12th Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, is in Chile to visit the Las Campanas Observatory in the southern portion of Chile’s Atacama Desert. He will be sharing his observations with Torch readers during his trip.
Eight institutions, including the National Zoo and the Tropical Research Institute have formed a joint venture to save amphibians from the brink of extinction in the eastern region of Panama—an area rich with diverse amphibian species. Experts from the Zoo, STRI, Africam Safari Park, the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, Defenders of Wildlife, the Houston Zoo, Summit Municipal Park and the Zoo New England have pooled their expertise and resources to create the Panama Amphibian Rescue and Conservation Project.
Continue reading Saving amphibians on the brink of extinction
The world premiere of “Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian” brought a galaxy of stars to Air and Space and the Natural History Museum May 14. The highly anticipated sequel to 2006’s “Night at the Museum,” the film stars Ben Stiller, Amy Adams, Owen Wilson and Robin Williams, but perhaps the biggest star is the Smithsonian itself. Continue reading The ‘Battle of the Smithsonian’ begins
On a recent Saturday afternoon writer Jamaica Kincaid offered 90 minutes of personal remembrances in one of the most interesting and heartfelt presentations in the American Pictures Distinguished Lecture series at the American Art Museum. Continue reading Jamaica Kincaid on being “Kept In”
“Great vision without great people is irrelevant.”
With this quote from Jim Collins, author of Good to Great, Secretary Wayne Clough, in a letter read by Alison McNally, Under Secretary for Finance and Administration, congratulated the 11 newly graduated participants in the Smithsonian’s inaugural leadership development program. He also challenged them “to expand the contribution that the Smithsonian makes to our society and the world.”
President Barack Obama signed a resolution May 8 appointing David M. Rubenstein, cofounder and managing director of The Carlyle Group, a member of the Smithsonian Board of Regents. Rubenstein’s six-year term as a citizen regent began immediately.
Horticulturist Janet Draper of the Mary Livingston Ripley Garden is profiled in the June issue of Horticulture magazine. She discusses her career as a self-described “plant geek” and explains how the lifelong friends and mentors who provided guidance along the way have inspired her to look at her work as “an opportunity to give back.”
Continue reading Janet Draper is a ‘plant evangelist’
Sheryl Kolasinski, director of the Office of Planning and Project Management, was elevated to the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects at a ceremony at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco on May 1.
Barro Colorado Island in Panama, home of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute’s premier tropical biology field station, has been described as the best-studied piece of tropical real estate in the western hemisphere. Although the island has been a mecca for biologists for nearly 90 years, no one has ever photographed an elusive island visitor—the jaguar—until… Continue reading Elusive jaguar photographed for first time on Barro Colorado Island
George Gurney, deputy chief curator at the American Art Museum, was looking for a place to showcase some of the nearly 150 or so paintings created in 1934 in the museum’s collection of New Deal art when something happened that most of us can identify with: money got tight. Photo: The oil on canvas “Radio… Continue reading Depression-era program created a ‘New Deal for Artists’