Smithsonian to Host Online Conference on Climate Change

September 16, 2009
News Release
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The Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies will host “Climate Change,” a three-day, free, education online conference Sept. 29 through Oct. 1. This is the second in a series of SCEMS conferences where researchers and curators from around the Smithsonian Institution come together to address a single subject.

“Climate Change” will feature sessions that everyone will find interesting: Some sessions will be of special interest to educators while others will engage entire classrooms and the general public. Throughout the conference, participants can explore Smithsonian research and collections related to the evidence, impact and response to climate change. Alongside Smithsonian scientists and curators, the public can look at the issues surrounding climate change from the perspectives of science, history and art.

“We’re excited to offer this online seminar on such an important and timely topic as climate change. The Smithsonian, with its experts, collections and partners is uniquely qualified to do so,” said Wayne Clough, Secretary of the Smithsonian. “Our first seminar, on Abraham Lincoln, was a resounding success that started an online dialogue that continues today—here and abroad.”

The conference will show the depth of research that the Smithsonian can bring to a current problem. Smithsonian scientists and other experts will lead participants in explorations of Smithsonian research on this important issue via live presentations, moderated forums and demonstrations. Through live streaming, speakers will respond to questions and comments from the audience. All of the conference sessions will be recorded and archived and can be replayed at any time via the Web at

Among the presenters are:

  • Bert Drake, senior scientist at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, who leads two major studies of the impact of atmospheric carbon dioxide on ecosystems
  • Don Moore, associate director for animal care at the National Zoo, who helps create conservation-management plans for wildlife
  • Scott Wing, paleontologist at the National Museum of Natural History, who specializes in prehistoric plant life and its reactions to climate change 

Registration is open to everyone at, which also features a blog about climate change and an archive of the first online conference, “Abraham Lincoln,” which attracted more than 3,000 participants on six continents.

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