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New Chief For Smithsonian Natural History Museum

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The Smithsonian has picked a paleontologist to lead the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, according to the Associated Press.

Kirk Johnson is the chief curator and vice president of research at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. He's led a major excavation in Colorado for ice age fossils of mammoths and mastodons.

Johnson will be taking over the natural history museum, which is one of the nation's most visited museums, in late October. Among the new projects he'll be working on is a new Smithsonian dinosaur hall on the National Mall.

Johnson follows Cristian Samper, who led the museum since 2003. 

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