SITES (Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibits Service)
Earth from Space
SITES mission is to make the vast resources of the Smithsonian available to the American people. They seek to meet the needs of a wide range of exhibitors — from major museums to rural community centers — by organizing and traveling exhibits of varying size, presentation, and cost. SITES has more than fifty exhibitions on tour at any given time, with up to twenty more in various stages of planning and production. On average, each year, SITES travels its exhibitions to over 250 communities across the nation in almost every state.
Earth from Space, designed by 1717 in 2006, is a popular forty‐one‐panel traveling exhibition. The exhibit, a SITES collaboration with geographer and curator Andrew Johnston at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum's (NASM) Center for Earth and Planetary Studies, offers rare views of events such as dust storms, forest fires, volcanic eruptions, and hurricanes. These images documenting environmental cycles, natural disasters, and man‐made ecological effects provide clues about the dynamic nature of our planet. It is accompanied by text that explains how satellite imagery is gathered and used to explore the Earth. The traveling exhibit was fully booked (twenty‐four venues) from November of 2006 through January of 2012. It won a 2007 U.S. Geological Survey communications award for science content.
In 2008, 1717 Design was asked to design a set of twenty 28.5” x 19.5” full‐color offset posters featuring images and text from the exhibition. SITES, in partnership with the U.S. Geological Survey, provided the poster version, at no cost, to more than 700 schools, universities, libraries, community centers, and other venues. These posters offer rich opportunities to engage students in a wide range of science curricula including geography, environmental studies, ecology, oceanography, and meteorology. This relevant, fascinating, and thought‐provoking poster presentation is complemented by award‐winning online resources developed by SITES that include lesson plans for grades 5 through 8 and 9 through 12 tied to National Science Standards.