CHML Director Dr. Hayden Bassett inside command center

CHML Director Dr. Hayden Bassett inside command center

About CHML

The Cultural Heritage Monitoring Lab (CHML) is a partnership between the Virginia Museum of Natural History (VMNH) and the Smithsonian Cultural Rescue Initiative (SCRI). The CHML provides global monitoring capability for cultural heritage sites threatened by armed conflict and natural disaster. It is housed on the first floor of the Virginia Museum of Natural History, and it operates through a distributed workforce of archaeologists, art historians, GIS experts, and other heritage practitioners. Among other technologies, the CHML utilizes high-resolution satellite imagery provided by industry partners to rapidly identify destructive events and active threats to monuments, museums, archives, historic buildings, archaeological sites, and landscapes. Through its partnership with the SCRI, the CHML works with academic, NGO, and government stakeholders at research and response-oriented organizations.

Recent Reports:

Damage to the Sudan National Museum (18 May 2023)

Damage to the Sudan Natural History Museum (17 May 2023)

In Partnership with

Smithsonian Cultural Rescue Initiative

The CHML supports SCRI's mission to protect cultural heritage threatened or impacted by disasters and to help U.S. and international communities preserve their identities and history.

Our Supporters

The Culture Conflict Research Network (CCRN)

USGS National Civil Applications Center (NCAC)

Iridium Communications Inc.


Hayden Bassett, Ph.D.
CHML Director & Principal Investigator (PI) 

William Welsh, M.A.
CHML Director of Operations

Kaitlyn Fitzgerald, M.A.
CHML Senior Analyst

map of Virginia and surrounding areas

Please Visit Us Soon


Tuesday - Saturday: 10am - 4pm
Sunday - Monday: Closed


$10 for ages 18-59
$5 for ages 3-17, seniors 60+, and college students
FREE for children under 3, museum members, and members of ASTC participating institutions

We enjoy our visits and outings "field trips" with the museum. The staff is always friendly and we are always learn...

Alysia Q.

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