Understanding and Sustaining a Biodiverse Planet

Monitors diversity and abundance of biodiversity in response to climate change in both terrestrial and marine environments across the planet through standardized protocols and sampling methodologies. Includes projects such as ForestGEO, Tennenbaum Marine Observatory Network/MarineGEO, and IndigenousGEO.

Promotes the conservation of populations, species and habitats through programs of biodiversity assessment, management and sustainability. Includes projects such as the North American Orchid Conservation Center, Species and Ecosystem Health, Bengal Tiger Conservation Activities in Bangladesh, and Sustaining the Natural Diversity of Myanmar.

Fosters and supports collaborative multidisciplinary discovery, exploration and application of genomic information to increase and diffuse knowledge about the evolution, adaptation and resilience, ecological processes and sustainability of global biodiversity. Includes efforts in innovative technologies, bioinformatics, and genomic collections, such as the Global Genome Initiative.

Understanding the American Experience

Produces multidisciplinary research initiatives across history, art and the sciences, focused on urban waterways—especially rivers, their watersheds, and associated creeks and streams—to generate innovative exhibitions and interactive programs on environmental justice, civic engagement and responsibility, ecological conservation, and community development leading to direct action and improvement of waterways.

Examines how the American experience is shaped by waves of immigration and migration, and explores how cultural interactions make the nation distinctive and dynamic. Includes planning for a major exhibition at The National Museum of American History and satellite Smithsonian exhibitions, Folklife Festival programs, community outreach and participation.

Coordinates the Civil War 150th anniversary (2011-2015) and World War I 100th anniversary commemorative exhibitions, educational programs and tours, symposia, publications, documentaries, podcasts, digitization initiatives, web and social media projects, and applications produced across Smithsonian museums and research centers.

Valuing World Cultures

Builds on the Smithsonian's longstanding investment in new-media and technology to develop international protocols and standards and educational resources for the acquisition, installation and long-term care of works of art containing film, video, audio or software as essential components.

Addresses the challenge of preserving cultural and artistic heritage at risk from civil instability and natural disasters by sharing expertise in preservation and recovery, serving as a trusted international coordinator, building skills and local capacity, and informing best practices and policy nationally and internationally.

Promotes documentation and revitalization of the world’s endangered languages and the knowledge embodied in them. Undertakes innovative, interdisciplinary research and collaborates with Native and Indigenous communities to develop effective strategies for transmitting language and cultural knowledge across generations.

Unlocking the Mysteries of the Universe

Supports development of prototype instrumentation, innovative software and novel archiving methods to facilitate future research or the analysis or preservation of existing materials/data (such as the development of new prototype instrumentation for possible use on a future NASA mission). Projects could also adapt or use existing instrumentation, software packages or archival methods in a new, previously unforeseen application.

Showcases research done by Smithsonian scholars working outside of the museums on the Mall. Includes planning and developing exhibitions for Mall-based museums and Cooper-Hewitt, traveling exhibitions or those involving Smithsonian Affiliates.

Facilitates multidisciplinary understanding of conditions needed to develop life on Earth—and possibly elsewhere in the universe. These endeavors require astrophysical knowledge to describe the processes giving rise to stars, planets and their environments; knowledge of the geology, geophysics and atmospheric physics of planets in our solar system and recently discovered exoplanets; and an understanding of the chemistry and biology of organic matter and the evolution of living organisms.

Crossing Multiple Grand Challenges

Living in the Anthropocene

Communicates how the Earth is changing in the Anthropocene, or Age of Humans, and that global, long-term thinking that integrates the humanities, the arts and the sciences is essential to change what people know, and how they feel and act. Includes activities to increase the Smithsonian’s research and scholarly capacity to understand change, outreach and education efforts on the Anthropocene, and sustainability practices.

Innovation Across the Smithsonian

Fosters innovative thinking and problem solving by bringing together scholars who have developed novel solutions in their own research with scholars who are attempting to solve other complex problems, and showcasing innovations developed or studied at the Smithsonian in new exhibitions and an annual innovation festival.

Smithsonian Music Initiative

Captures the vast richness and depth of music by creating a readily accessible online resource for the Smithsonian’s extensive music holdings, including more than 16,000 musical instruments and rich archival and art collections, for a 21st-century experience that celebrates the world of music.