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Long Island Groundwater Research Institute


Latest Highlights (Additional highlights are at the bottom of the page)

The State University of New York at Stony Brook established the Long Island Groundwater Research Institute (liGRI) in 1994 to marshal the resources and expertise of the University for the study of groundwater hydrology and chemistry. One of our goals is to bring the results of scientific research to bear on the region’s most pressing groundwater problems. Inquiries on all aspects of groundwater hydrology and chemistry are welcome.

The resolution of hydrogeological and groundwater pollution problems requires basic and applied research from a broad array of disciplines. The Institute coordinates and expands the existing potential for research by faculty, staff and students in groundwater hydrology. The Institute maintains close communication with ground-water professionals in the government and private sector in Long Island. Through the University’s Center for Regional Policy Studies, a distinguished Advisory Council has been established with representation of agencies with management responsibilities. In 1997 the Institute was formally established by legislative act.

The focus of research is Long Island’s aquifer system, which is an ideal natural laboratory. It is self-contained and representative of coastal plain aquifers all along the east coast of the U.S. It has a unique diversity ranging from western Long Island with a densely populated urban environment, through a suburban zone, to farmland, and finally to undeveloped pine barrens in eastern Long Island. Superimposed on each of these zones is a north-south gradient from barrier islands and coastal regions to interior uplands of varied topography. Since the primary flow of groundwater is north and south, there tends to be little intermixing of waters associated with different levels of development. The application of results of high-quality research is essential for the effective management of our groundwater resources.

The University has a long history of groundwater research. We are particularly proud of our contributions in:

  • groundwater modeling,
  • geochemical studies,
  • groundwater impacts on coastal environments,
  • bioremediation and biodegradation of pollutants.

In addition, the Institute’s faculty provides a course of graduate study in groundwater hydrology leading to the degree of Master’s of Science. Teacher workshops, technical conferences, and public lectures are also offered by the Institute.

The Institute is served by faculty in the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, the Department of Earth and Space Science, and the Department of Applied Mathematics and Statistics.

LIGRI Faculty

  • Henry J. Bokuniewicz, School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences. Nearshore transport processes; coastal groundwater, salinity intrusion. 631-632-8674
  • Bruce J. Brownawell, School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences. Biogeochemistry of organic pollutants in groundwater. Bioremediation. 631-632-9411
  • J. Kirk Cochran, School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences. Marine geochemistry; use of radionuclides as geochemical tracers in ground water. 631-632-8781
  • Anthony Dvarskas, School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences. Environmental economics, ecosystem services and resilience of coastal ecosystems, economics of restoration, natural capital accounting. 631-632-9674
  • Chris Gobler, School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences. Phytoplankton, harmful algal blooms, estuarine ecology, aquatic biogeochemistry. 631-632-5043
  • Gilbert Hanson, Geosciences. Trace element and isotope geochemistry in groundwater studies. 631-632-8210
  • Kamazima Lwiza, School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences. Water quality. 631-632-7309
  • Devinder Mahajan, Material Sciences and Engineering. Energy-water nexus. 631-632-1813
  • Jaymie Meliker. Dept. of Preventive Medicine, Evaluative Sciences. Exposure science and health geography. 631-444-1145
  • Roy Price, School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences.  Environmental GeoChemistry, Mobilization mechanisms and fate of toxins in groundwater aquifers. 631-632-3737
  • Richard J. Reeder, Geosciences. Low-temperature geochemistry in aqueous/solids systems; mineralogy and mineral-solution equilibria. 631-632-8208
  • R. Lawrence Swanson, School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences. Coastal oceanography, marine pollution, marine policy, recycling and reuse of waste materials, waste management. 631-632-8688
  • Gordon T. Taylor, School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences. Microbial ecology of surfaces; microbial biofouling; bioremediation. 631-632-8688
  • David Tonjes, Technology and Society. Solid waste processes and management, and estuarine and coastal management. 631-632-8518
  • Qing-Zhi Zhu, School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences. Biogeochemistry, Environmental Analytical Chemistry, Sensors. 631-632-8747
  • Harold Walker, Director, Civil Engineering Program, emerging contaminants and water treatment. 631-632-8315

The Institute is also served by an Advisory Council to help focus the research done at the University and carry those results to practical application.

Meeting Minutes

2016 March | May

2015  March  |  April  |  June  |  September | December

2014  December | November |September | June | May | April | January

2013  October | September | June | May | AprilMarch | February | January

2012  December | November | September | May | April | February

2011  December | November | October | September | June | May | March | FebruaryJanuary

2010  November | October | September | June | May | April | February

2009 December | November | October | September | June | May | February | January

2008  December | November | October | September | June | AprilMarch | February | January

2007  December | November | October | SeptemberJune | April | March | January

2006  December | October | September | June | AprilMarch | February | January

2005  December | November | October | September | May | AprilFebruary | January

2004  December | November | OctoberJune | May | April | March | January

2003  DecemberNovember | October | September | MayApril | March 

2002  November | October | September | June | April | February

2001  November | September | June | MayApril | March | January

Groundwater Advisory Council

Michael Alarcon Nassau County Department of Health
Steve Colabufo Suffolk County Water Authority
Michael Nofi Long Island Water Conference
Douglas Paquette Brookhaven National Laboratory
Andrew Rapiejko Suffolk County Health Department
Stephen Terracciano USGS
Michael Scorca EPA

Environmental Community Assistance Consortium

The Institute is a member of ECAC, joining the Maxwell School and College of Engineering and Computer Science at Syracuse University, the New York Water Resources Institute at Cornell University and the Darrin Fresh Water Institute at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute to assist local communities access institutional expertise and resources to provide outreach and education and support government agencies through a state wide effort. As part of this effort, the Institute has been asked to provide technical information to community groups (ABCO, NEARS) concerned with contamination at Brookhaven National Laboratory. The Institute also provided testimony for a joint legislative assembly hearing on water quality and quality issues sponsored by the Commission on Water Resource Needs, the Environmental Conservation Committee and the Task Force on Food, Farm and Nutrition.

Research Projects

The Institute has pursued research projects on a broad spectrum of groundwater problems related to Long Island. The following is a partial list of ongoing research projects:

  • Bibliography of Long Island geology and hydrology.
  • Interactions of surface and ground waters.
  • Recharge characteristics on Long Island.
  • Occurrence of trace metals in ground-water.
  • Classification of coasts with regard to ground-water seepage into the coastal ocean.
  • Fate of nitrogen in groundwater.
  • Contamination by pharmaceutical and personal care products.
  • Contamination and beach closures at Laurel Hollow Beach




Pine Barrens Research Forum

The Institute has co-hosted the Pine Barrens Research Forum together with the Pine Barrens Commission and Brookhaven National Laboratory each October since 1996. The 2010 Forum is scheduled for Thursday, September 30, 2010.

Please see the website for more information and proceedings from each year.

The August Guerrera Award

The August Guerrera Award is given to an outstanding student by the Institute and the Long Island Water Conference for the encouragement of the study of water resources.

The following are winners of the Guerrera Award with their respective year:

1998 Karin Olsen
1999 Francis (Chip) Rossi
2000 Daniel O’Rourke
2001 Mark Benotti
2002 John Rapaglia
2003 Yoko Tsukamoto
2004 Gabriella Circosta
2005 Kevin Hickey
2006 Magdalena M. Pietrzak
2007 Xuan Xu
2008 Shelby Lipka
2009 Ruth Coffey
2010 John Wallace Daniel
2011 Omkar Aphale
2012 Josephine Durand
2013 Amy Pritt
2014 Christine Gurdon
2015 Joseph Tamborski

Inquiries may be sent to:

Dr. Henry J. Bokuniewicz
Director of the Groundwater Institute
School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences
Stony Brook University
Stony Brook, NY 11794-5000
631-632-8674 / (Fax) 631-632-8820

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