addition to our formal academic appointments (research
Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History welcomes visiting
scholars from around the world to collaborate with our scientists
as well as to independently utilize the vast resources of the
Museum including our facillities and collections. Each year
NMNH welcomes more than 3,200 research visitors who spend nearly
17,000 days using the collections.
is some information to help you arrange your professional visit
as well as efficiently and effective make use of your time with
The protocol for gaining approval for professional visits to
the research facilities and collections of the National Museum
of Natural History requires professionals with bona fide research
interests needing to visit the NMNH research staff and/or collections
to contact the appropriate Collections Manager.
some cases, prior to visiting, a statement of intent and confirmation
of institutional affiliation may be required before visits will
When requesting professional visits, please provide the following
- E-mail Address:
- Dates of Visit:
- Purpose of Visit:
may be submitted on-line or by e-mail, telephone, or mailed
letter of request. To
ensure that staff and facilities are available for your visit,
sufficient prior notice is required. Please note that the collections
and library facilities are not open on weekends or government
holidays. If necessary, special access can be arranged,
at the discretion of the individual unit head.
Unit Specific Information
Background Check & Fingerprinting
visits lasting more than 30 days pre-arrival and background
investigation policies apply.
academic and volunteer positions at the Smithsonian are characterized
as Non-Critical Sensitive, including visitors in-residence for
more than 30 days (cummulative). Long-term visitors seeking
unescorted access to Smithsonian collections and facilities
require successful adjudication of a pre-appointment background
check. Please allow at least 4 weeks for this process to complete
BEFORE your planned arrival in DC. All individuals, U.S. citizens
and Internationals, planning to be in-residence for more than
30 days must undergo a pre-arrival background investigation.
in-residence for more than 30 days are required to complete
the form OF 306 Declaration for Federal Employment, a
standard form issued by the Office of Personnel Management.
The OF 306 is available at the OPM web site as an on-line fill-in
form at: http://www.opm.gov/forms/pdf_fill/of0306.pdf.
are also required to complete an SF 87 Fingerprint Chart
(fingerprint card). The SF 87 will be mailed directly by the
Smithsonian to individuals nominated. The SF 87 is not available
electronically and cannot be sent via e-mail.
(to DC/NY) nominees must take the SF 87 to their local law enforcement
agency or courthouse to obtain fingerprints. A minimal fee is
usually involved. The nominee must then mail or hand deliver
the completed OF 306 and SF 87 to the Office of Protection Services.
of Protection Services
is recommended that visitors mailing the forms return these
via express mail with a tracking number to ensure better processing.
the visitor is within commuting distance to Washington, DC,
they may hand-deliver the completed OF 306 and be fingerprinted
on-site at no cost. The Smithsonian Office of Protection Services
is located at 600 Maryland Avenue, SW, Suite 4036. Office Hours
are Monday through Friday, 8:00am to 4:00pm.
Smithsonian Office of Protection Services (OPS) contracts the
Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to conduct all investigations.
Based upon the investigation results, OPS determines the nominee's
suitability for a position at the Smithsonian. The turnaround
time for investigation results is about 10 days from the time
information is received by OPS from the nominee.
will notify the NMNH Head of Acaedmic Services when an investigation
is closed. They will then contact the nominee to extend a formal
offer, and provide further detail.
majority of the NMNH research staff and collections are housed
at the Smithsonian's Natural History Building. However, a portion
of the collection has been moved to our Museum Support Center
(MSC) in suburban Maryland.
Visitors wishing to examine specimens at the Museum Support
Center must make arrangements with the appropriate unit prior
to arrival. In addition, a staff member must accompany all guests
to the collections at the MSC facility to authorize access.
Visitors to this facility should allow extra time during their
visit to accommodate travel time to and from this location.
History Building (NHB): Taking up about two city blocks,
the Natural History building is located at 10th Street and Constitution
Avenue, NW in Washington, DC. Although there are many staff
entrances, when first arriving you should go to the entrance
located on Constitution Avenue at 10th Street.
a map of the National Mall, including the National Museum of
Natural History and other Smithsonian museums, as well as exhibit
floor maps of NMNH, see our maps
Washington's subway system, and Metrobus link the city with
nearby communities in Maryland and Virginia. Every subway station
is equipped with an elevator and most with escalators. Metrorail
is conveniently located near many Smithsonian museums. The closest
Metro Station to the National Museum of Natural History is the
Smithsonian Station (Mall exit) on the Blue and Orange line.
For a Metrorail map and more information, visit the Metro Website
Support Center (MSC): The Museum also maintains a support
facility in Suitland, Maryland (Museum Support Center - MSC).
One of the first such facilities in the world of its kind, the
Museum Support Center (MSC) was dedicated in May 1983 after
two years of construction and a decade of intensive planning.
The facility covers 4 ½ acres of land and contains over
half a million square feet of space dedicated to the storage
and safeguarding of museum collections. Located in Suitland,
Maryland, 7 miles from the Smithsonian Museums on the mall,
this unique zigzag shaped building incorporates the latest in
Smithsonian operates a free hourly shuttle bus service from
the National Museum of Natural History on the National Mall
to the Museum Support Center. The shuttle departs from the Mall
entrance of the museum on Madison Drive on the hour, arriving
at the Museum Support Center 30 minutes later. The shuttle operates
during regular business hours. More
information about getting to MSC.
Sterile Entry of Specimens
Visitors seeking to bring comparative materials into the research
collections must notify the Collections Management Staff prior
to their arrival. Most units have sterile entry requirements,
mandating that specimens first be treated according to the policies
of the unit. In some cases protocol treatments yield the specimens
unavailable for several days/weeks while undergoing treatment.
Please plan accordingly.
Museum Support Center also maintains strict inventory control
over specimen movement in and out of the building through its
shipping office. Visitors planning to bring comparative material
into the MSC facility must notify Collections Management Staff
prior to their arrival. A list of specimens being brought into
the building must be presented, along with the specimens, to
the shipping officer.
Arrival and Check-in
Professional visitors to NMNH research and collections areas
are required to first check in at the guard station located
in the Constitution Avenue entrance lobby.
security procedures require that all visitors have a picture
ID available (drivers license or passport) to scan for identification
verification before being issued access to collections and facilities.
registering with security, visitors are then asked to notify
the host unit of their arrival. Security regulations require
that guests be escorted to their work station by a Smithsonian
employee. All guests are requested to register their visit by
also signing the guest register of their host unit. Additional
registration procedures may be required for specific units.
In general, administrative/collections staff in the host unit
make arrangements for visiting scientists. Unit administrative
staff distribute general supplies and can provide information
on parking, lodging, etc.
sponsoring scientist or collections manager can assist with
scientific needs of professional visitors. Such needs may include
access and use of items such as: microscopes, computers, specimen
preparation and evaluations items, and literature. Access/use
of specialized laboratories, sensitive literature, and/or collections,
especially type material, must be arranged and approved prior
is no public parking facility at the Smithsonian on the National
Mall; on-street parking is limited and posted times are enforced.
There are commercial parking lots and garages located within
several blocks of the museums. There is also a limited number
of parking spaces for vehicles with the appropriate license
plate or permit for visitors with disabilities.
is allowed on a space-available basis after 3:00 p.m for to
SI guests with a Visiting Scientist ID badge.
Such parking is not subject to the daily fee.
is free to SI guests with a Visiting Scientist ID badge on weekends
and holidays at all SI controlled facilities, NMNH, NMAH, SISC
is available at the Museum Support Center. Parking permits are
necessary at both localities (NHB and MSC). Visitors to NMNH
are encouraged to use carpools, busses or the subway system.
Carpool space may be gained by posting needs to museum staff,
either by electronic mail or on museum bulletin boards. The
subway system is available from many suburban areas. There are
two subway stations near NMNH: Smithsonian and Federal Triangle.
The Smithsonian Shuttle Service consists of three shuttle routes
that operate 8:00 a.m. till 5:30 p.m. The shuttle travels between
the MSC, Mall, and SISC Shuttles.
are posted on the intranet.
Professional visitors are responsible for arranging their own
accommodations. The NMNH does not have any lodging facilities.
is served by three major airports: 1) Ronald Reagan National
Airport (most convenient for domestic travelers), 2) Dulles
International, and 3) Baltimore-Washington International (BWI).
Reagan National you can take either a taxi or the Metro
subway to Smithsonian station.
information phone: 703-685-8000
From Dulles International Airport you can take a taxi cab.
Another option is to take the Washington Flyer shuttle (703-685-1400)
to the West Falls Church station on the Metro,
or the WMATA bus (#5A) from the Rosslyn and L'Enfant Plaza
metro stops that go to/from Dulles airport. Other Dulles ground
transportation is available at http://www.metwashairports.com/dulles/ground.htm
information phone: 703-661-2700
From Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI): you
may take an Airport Connection limousine (301-441-2345) that
stops at the New Carrollton Metro or transfer to the BWI Amtrak
Station (410-672-6167) and take Maryland Rail Commuter (MARC)
trains to Union Station in Washington (202-906-3104). Union
Station is served by the Virginia Railway Express (VRE) commuter
information phone: 410-859-7111
more information about Washington DC area airports visit: www.metwashairports.com
weather conditions: Weather
in Washington, DC
Getting around town
all Metro (subway and bus) information, call 202-637-7000 from
6 am- 11:30 pm or review information at the Metro website:
www.wmata.com for updates.
are two on-site Smithsonian health units. These units offer
emergency response, basic first aid services, flu shots and
Museum of American History
12th Street & Constitution Avenue, NW
Building Occupational Health Center
750 9th Street, NW
Washington University Hospital
900 23rd Street, NW
Howard University Hospital
2041 Georgia Avenue, NW
Washington abounds in free and inexpensive activities! The
following reference may be helpful:
This is published every Thursday, is free and available
at Metro Stops and in many cafes. It highlights some of
the week's cultural events.
The Washington Post
It's a good source of event information. It also publishes
an online guide for Washington-area interns.
DC, Convention and Tourism Corporation
1212 New York Avenue, NW, Suite 600
Washington, DC 20005
National Park Service, Office of Public Affairs
1100 Ohio Drive, SW
Washington, DC 20242
Maryland Office of Tourism Development
217 E. Redwood Street, 9th Floor
Baltimore, MD 21202
Art Night on the Mall
Free music, movies, and art events at select Smithsonian
museums during the summer. Watch the VIARC activity announcements
for a complete schedule.
Georgetown Flea Market
Open each Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Wisconsin Avenue and S Street. NW. in Georgetown
(Take Metrobus 30. 32.34. 36.)
Screen on the Green
Free old movies shown during summers in front of the Washington
Monument. Watch the newspapers for schedule.
The Supreme Court
Metro Stop: Union Station or Capitol South
1st and East Capitol Streets, NE
Visitor Information Line: 202.479.3050
Metro Stop: Smithsonian
In addition to the Smithsonian museums, here you will
find many of DC's monuments: FDR Memorial, Korean War
Veterans Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Thomas Jefferson
Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and Washington Monument.
Most are open from 8:00 a.m. to midnight.
United States Capitol Building
Metro Stop: Union Station or Capitol South
Open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with guided tours
available Monday-Saturday. SCEMS arranges special tours
for Smithsonian interns during the summer months - watch
for e-mail notifications.
The White House
Metro Stop: McPherson Square
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. NW
Visitors Office Info Line: 202-456-7051
addition, many young professionals enjoy after-work relaxation
in entertainment districts. These include:
Morgan (NW Washington, DC)
Circle (NW Washington, DC)
Hill (N E Washington, DC)
(NW Washington, DC)
Town Alexandria (Alexandria, VA.)
Bethesda (Bethesda, MD.)
are many sports and recreation sites in the DC area.
Creek Park includes fifteen miles of trails and winds
through the middle of the District.
Washington-Baltimore area is home to many professional sports
material is being provided as a convenience and for informational
purposes only. The National Museum of Natural History bears
NO responsibility for information provided through, or any
aspect of, any other sites and computer systems. Providing
a link to these other sites should not be construed as an
endorsement or approval of these sites or the companies