Earth Optimism

Supporting life on a sustainable planet
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A woman holds up a plastic container in front of her face. The container holds a juvenile salmon.

The planet is facing an existential challenge: the climate crisis is intensifying, biodiversity is receding, and whole ecosystems are changing at a rapid pace. The quest for scientific knowledge and new technology has never been more urgent. Yet, scientists and educators at the Smithsonian cannot help but feel optimistic that together we can affect positive change by building and sharing knowledge and fostering community engagement.

Discover public programs and resources to inform and inspire your part in creating a sustainable future for us all.



Researchers at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, and other centers are dedicated to finding new ways to adapt to and reduce the impacts of climate change. The Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute leads global efforts to save species, better understand ecosystems, and train future conservationists. At the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, scientists conduct research worldwide to address pressing issues of our time, including conservation, public health, climate change, and food security. The Smithsonian’s Center for Environmental Justice at the Anacostia Community Museum organizes programming to help create a future in which environmentalism is a cornerstone of civic engagement. The Smithsonian Science for Global Goals Project provides youth around the world with the knowledge and skills to understand the world’s most pressing issues and to become agents for change in their own communities.


Within the Smithsonian's museums, research centers, and educational initiatives, you will find an array of valuable resources. These resources not only shed light on the challenges we face but also highlight the innovative solutions being developed to address them.