Summary
Collection ID:
Record Unit 329
Creators:
Smithsonian Institution. Assistant Secretary for Research
Dates:
circa 1963-1986
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
114 cu. ft. (228 document boxes)
Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives

Descriptive Entry
Descriptive Entry
These records document the administration, under David Challinor, of the science bureaus of the Smithsonian Institution, c. 1975-1985. Also included are a few records from 1971-1974 and 1986.
Series 1 consists of records of the offices reporting to the Assistant Secretary for Science, including the Center for the Study of Man and the National Anthropological Film Center, the Chesapeake Bay Center for Biological Studies, the Office of Biological Conservation, the Office of Fellowships and Grants, the National Air and Space Museum, the National Museum of Natural History, the National Zoological Park, the Radiation Biology Laboratory, the Fort Pierce Bureau, the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, the Smithsonian Science Information Exchange, and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. Changes which occurred during the period include the termination of the Office of Biological Conservation and the Research Institute for Immigration and Ethnic Studies, the assignment of the Office of Fellowships and Grants to the Assistant Secretary for Science, the combination of the Chesapeake Bay Center for Environmental Studies and the Radiation Biology Laboratory into the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, and the renaming of the Ft. Pierce Bureau as the Marine Station at Link Port. Records pertaining to environmental and other activities in foreign countries have been brought together in this series under the International Environmental Sciences Program and the Environmental Science Program; however, scientists from most of the other bureaus participated in these programs.
Series 2 consists of administrative subject files. Budget and personnel records of the bureaus, particularly 1976, the "Transition Quarter, " and 1977 are particularly well represented, as are collections management and collection inventories. Also found in this series are records dealing with the Endangered Species Scientific Authority, the International Convention Advisory Commission, the National Advisory Committee on Oceans and Atmosphere, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, and the Charles Darwin Research Station.
Due to the volume and the nature of the records, the goal of processing was to bring together many accessions for easier access rather than to perfect the arrangement. Dates and folder titles were used as found and may contain inconsistencies. Certain documents, such as budget, personnel, and records relating to the environmental activities of Smithsonian offices, are like to appear in both series.
Further material on the bureaus, programs, and projects covered in these records can be found in the records of the individual offices and museums which reported to the Assistant Secretary for Science (now Research).

Historical Note
Historical Note
David Challinor served as Assistant Secretary for Science from 1971 until 1988. In 1985 the name of the position was changed to Assistant Secretary for Research. Ross B. Simons served as Program Manager, 1976-. The period documented in these records was one of expansion of facilities and extensive participation by the Smithsonian in local, national, and international environmental activities. Smithsonian scientists played an active part in the environmental movement through such projects as the study of the Rhode River ecosystem in Maryland, the coral reefs of Albadra in the Indian Ocean, and the soils of the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt. At the same time, many of the science bureaus embarked on or completed ambitious projects in the museums.
The National Zoo completed the modernization of many of its animal quarters during this time, including the Great Ape House, the Lion-Tiger House, and the Monkey House. Important expansion included the acquisition of land at Front Royal, Virginia, in 1975, which culminated in the completion of the Conservation Research Center in 1983, where the Zoo can conserve and propagate exotic wildlife.
The National Museum of Natural History began the period with the establishment of a twenty-year plan for exhibitions. Projects completed included the Naturalist Center in 1976, the exhibition of a living coral reef in 1980, the Evans Gallery in 1981, and Magnificent Voyagers, concerning the Wilkes Expedition of 1838, in 1985. An on-line inventory of sixty million items in collections was completed in 1983 in connection with the opening of the Museum Support Center in Maryland. Other events included the initiation of the Handbook of North American Indians in 1975, the establishment of the National Anthropological Film Center in 1976, and the 75th anniversary of the museum in 1985.
The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory participated in such joint ventures as the building of the infra-red telescope, and the study of the 6,000 pound Old Woman Meteorite. The Multiple Mirror Telescope was built at Mt. Hopkins, Arizona.
The Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) enjoyed a period of modernization of facilities and intense use by scientists under the Environmental Sciences Program to measure climatic and biological changes on Barro Colorado Island and obtain baseline data for future studies. The signing of the Panama Canal Treaties in 1977 solidified the position of the Institute.
The National Air and Space Museum (NASM) opened in 1976 and quickly became the most visited museum in the world. By 1984, the 75th millionth visitor had arrived. Projects undertaken by NASM's scientists and historians included the Quetzalcoatlus Project, the Space Telescope History Project, Apollo-Soyuz Test Project, and a series on the history of aviation. The annual Frisbee Festival began in 1977 and millions of visitors viewed the popular IMAX movies in the museum.
Other environmental activities included the Nepal Tiger Ecology Project, the Smithsonian Institution Peace Corps Environmental Program, the Coral Reef Symposium, and the Brazil and Amazon Ecosystems Project.

Notes
SI Records

Using the Collection
Prefered Citation
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 329, Smithsonian Institution, Assistant Secretary for Research, Records

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Challinor, David, 1920-2008 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Simons, Ross B. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
International Environmental Sciences Program Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Smithsonian Institution. Environmental Sciences Program Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Chesapeake Bay Center for Environmental Studies Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Endangered Species Scientific Authority (U.S.) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. International Convention Advisory Commission Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Smithsonian Institution. Assistant Secretary for Science Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Center for the Study of Man (Smithsonian Institution) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
National Anthropological Film Center (U.S.) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Smithsonian Institution. Office of Fellowships and Grants Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Smithsonian Institution. Office of Biological Conservation Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Smithsonian Institution -- Administration Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Research Institute for Immigration and Ethnic Studies Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
National Museum of Natural History (U.S.) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
National Air and Space Museum (U.S.) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Smithsonian Science Information Exchange Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Smithsonian Radiation Biology Laboratory Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
National Museum of Natural History (U.S.). Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Smithsonian Environmental Research Center Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Smithsonian Institution. Marine Station at Link Port Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Museums -- Administration Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Research Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Museums -- Employees Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
India Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Egypt Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Brazil Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Aldabra Islands (Seychelles) Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Black-and-white photographs Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Maps Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Manuscripts Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Smithsonian Institution Archives
Washington, D.C.
Contact us at osiaref@si.edu