The Smithsonian Institution will host a polar science symposium as one of the inaugural U.S. contributions to celebrate the International Polar Year 2007-2008. Smithsonian at the Poles: Contributions to International Polar Year Science is scheduled for Thursday and Friday, May 3-4 at the Smithsonians National Museum of Natural History and the Smithsonian Institution Building (Castle) in Washington, D.C.
The symposium, which is also supported by the National Science Foundation, will present research findings by Smithsonian scholars and their collaborators from Arctic and Antarctic research, with particular attention to changes in polar systems past, present and future, and their global impact. The symposium will carry on a Smithsonian tradition of polar science that began nearly 150 years ago and resulted in some of the worlds foremost collections and archives of Arctic and Antarctic materials.
The two-day event will feature an introductory plenary session followed by concurrent sessions of invited papers and panel discussions, evening public and keynote lectures, and tours of collections. Speakers will include research leaders from the Smithsonian and their National Science Foundation-supported polar research partners.
More than 35 scholars will discuss their papers on the following six themes: polar astronomy; systematics and biology of polar organisms; environmental change and polar marine ecosystems; International Polar Year histories and legacies; methods and techniques of under-ice research; and cultural studies. Sessions will feature disciplinary presentations from both the Arctic and Antarctica.