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Over-Whale-ming Collection!

Posted on February 1, 2017 by in The OFI Blog

James Smithson Fellows – Doctors Dara, Matthew, Karen, and Jeremy (left to right)

On tour at the Whale Warehouse!

There’s a lot to do when a part of the James Smithson Fellowship Program! This program excels at combining research and public policy by exposing their fellows to both amazing Smithsonian collections and to other leaders within their field.  Each year, this program chooses a theme to focus on.  The 2016 theme is conservation!

On Thursday January 26, 2017, the 2016 James Smithson Fellows visited the Museum Support Center (MSC) in Suitland, MD.  While there, this group had the pleasure of going on two behind-the-scenes tours hosted by fellows Dr. Matthew Leslie (NMNH) and Dr. Jeremy Feinberg (NMNH).

The MSC is a large facility that stores and conserves tons of extra Smithsonian collections.  During their tours, Matthew and Jeremy demonstrated how they actively pursue the purpose of the James Smithson Fellowship Program through their own studies.

Dr. Matthew, with a dolphin skull, asks: are dolphins more closely related to dogs or deer?

Matthew gave a tour of the Whale Warehouse, which stores the remains of many different whales including Right, Gray, Sperm, and Blue Whales!  Seal, Sea Lion, and Dolphin remains can also be found here.

Dr. Jeremy excitedly explains his research!

Jeremy showed the group around the Herpetology Department.  Their large storage units contain everything from tiny salamanders to giant Goliath Frogs.  Jeremy’s research focus, the Leopard Frog, stole the show on the tour through the Herpetology Department!

Thank you to everybody who made this event possible!