Asia and Oceania


Paula DePriest, Headshot, The Deer Stone Project

Paula DePriest

Deputy Director, Smithsonian Museum Conservation Institute
Paula T. DePriest is the Deputy Director of the Smithsonian’s Museum Conservation Institute. She works with Mongolian and international partners to protect archaeological, cultural heritage, and ecological resources across Mongolia.
Tommy Wide

Tommy Wide

Assistant Director for Special Projects at Freer|Sackler

Tommy Wide is Assistant Director for Special Projects at Freer|Sackler.

Julian Raby

Julian Raby

The Dame Jillian Sackler Director of the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery and the Freer Gallery of Art

Julian Raby is the Dame Jillian Sackler Director of the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery and the Freer Gallery of Art.

Bill McShea in Myanmar. Photo Courtesy of Bill McShea.

William McShea (Bill)

Ecologist, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute

Bill McShea is an ecologist at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) whose work focuses on the conservation of mammals and forests throughout East and Southeast Asia.

Mel Songer taking a break from tracking a conflict elephant for collaring in the Bago Yoma, Myanmar. Photo courtesy of Christie Sampson.

Melissa Songer (Mel)

Conservation Biologist, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute

Melissa Songer is a conservation biologist researching ways to help sustain and restore species in the wild.     


Geoffrey “Jess” Parker

Senior Scientist, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center

Jess oversees the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) forest-monitoring plot in Edgewater, MD. The forest ecology research he directs at SERC helps to create a baseline for judging how climate change affects temperate forests globally.

Scott Schmidt

Scott Schmidt

Exhibits Production Manager, Smithsonian Office of Exhibits Central

Scott Schmidt is a maker and exhibits production manager at the Smithsonian. At Smithsonian Institution Exhibits, Scott’s team provides the Smithsonian community and affiliates with an array of exhibits services. 


Joshua A. Bell

Curator of Globalization, National Museum of Natural History

Joshua A. Bell is Curator of Globalization at the National Museum of Natural History. He examines shifting local and global networks between people, artifacts, and the environment.