WASHINGTON, DC.- The Smithsonian Institution has joined Arizona State University in an innovative education and science partnership aimed at sustaining a biodiverse planet. On Feb. 12, Smithsonian Secretary Wayne Clough and ASU President Michael M. Crow launched a global classroomwith one foot in Arizonas Sonoran desert and the other in the tropical landscapes of Panama. The partnership will create opportunities for ASU undergraduates, graduate students and faculty to participate in fieldwork at Smithsonian facilities in Panama, as well as for the development of virtual global classrooms that center on current research in tropical ecosystems. Smithsonian scientists will also participate in ASU degree programs. The Smithsonian looks forward to partnering with Arizona State to advance the goals of its new strategic plan that seeks to enhance collaborative, interdisciplinary scientific enterprise and excellence in education, said Clough.