Last week I took a quick trip to Washington D.C. to visit the National Geographic HQ and the United State's herbarium at the Smithsonian Institute.
While visiting National Geographic I was able to touch base with my program officer for my 2017 travel grant and discuss some of the results and challenges of my most recent collection trip. On top of that, I ate some surprisingly delicious cafeteria food, and visited the current exhibits at the National Geographic museum. Thanks Jill!
Having always heard about the Smithsonian Natural History museum, I couldn't miss the opportunity to visit, and to examine one of the largest collections of plant specimens in the United States. Not surprisingly, most of the Camelina specimens deposited here originate from the United States, where Camelina diversity is low. Nevertheless, the experience was worthwhile. As I am coming to find, the more Camelina specimens I examine, the more sense I can make of the evolution, domestication, and spreading of this fascinating crop.
My downtime was spent exploring the United States Botanical Garden. On a surprisingly small parcel of land adjacent to the U.S. Captiol building, this botanical garden sports a great variety of plants in many greenhouses. As with all (?) museums on the mall, the garden is free for all visitors and definitely worth passing through.