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Carl Safina

Carl Safina Endowed Research Chair for Nature and Humanity
Ph.D., Rutgers University
Marine vertebrates, fisheries policy, and raising awareness of ocean change

The Safina Center
5 Questions with Carl Safina


As people change the world, Carl Safina’s work reveals how the future of living nature and the durability of human dignity are increasingly intertwined. His work probes the science as well as the ethics of our moment with nature.

Safina’s childhood by the shore launched a life-long passion, lending a distinct ocean flavor to much of his work. He has studied nature as a scientist, stood for it as an advocate, and conveyed his travels among sea creatures and coastal people in lyrical non-fiction writing.

Studies of seabirds and fishes led to his PhD in Ecology from Rutgers University. Witnessing rapid declines in sea turtles, sharks, tunas, and many other ocean creatures, he realized that a “last buffalo hunt” was underway in the sea.

Responding, Safina helped lead campaigns to ban driftnets, overhaul fisheries law, achieve a United Nations fisheries treaty, and reduce seabird and sea turtle drowning on commercial fishing lines. Along the way, his writings made him a leading voice on humanity’s relationship with nature.

Safina is author of 6 books and roughly 200 scientific and popular publications, including features in The New York Times, and National Geographic and a new Foreword to Rachel Carson’s The Sea Around Us.

His first book, Song for the Blue Ocean, was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year.

Eye of the Albatross won the John Burroughs Medal and the National Academies’ Science Communication Award for year’s Best Book.

Voyage of the Turtle was a N.Y. Times Editors’ Choice. So was The View From Lazy Point; A Natural Year in an Unnatural World, which won the 2012 Orion Award.

Nina Delmar and The Great Whale Rescue is his children’s book. In A Sea in Flames Safina chronicled the 2010 Gulf oil blowout.

Carl Safina has been profiled in the New York Times, Rolling Stone, and on Nightline; and he has been featured on PBS television; National Public Radio; Democracy Now; Bill Moyers’ special Earth on Edge; Martha Stewart; and not least: The Colbert Report.

Safina is founding president of Blue Ocean Institute at Stony Brook University, where he also co-chairs the University’s Center for Communicating Science.

Audubon magazine named Carl Safina among its “100 Notable Conservationists of the 20th Century.” In 2011, Utne Reader listed him among “25 Visionaries Changing the World.” Among other laurels, he has won a Pew fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the John Burroughs Medal, the Rabb Medal from Chicago’s Brookfield Zoo, the James Beard medal, the Lannan Literary Award, two honorary doctorates, and a MacArthur “genius” Prize.


University Enjoys Great Relationship With Wildlife Refuge

Photo above:  The wildlife tank from the Quogue Wildlife Refuge From University Enjoys Great Relationship With Wildlife Refuge by Glenn Jochum on Stony Brook Matters, February 14, 2017 As every Biology 101 student knows, symbiosis is a mutually beneficial relationship...

“Beyond Words – What Animals Think and Feel” with Carl Safina

EPISODE 3: "BEYOND WORDS - WHAT ANIMALS THINK AND FEEL"WITH CARL SAFINA, SPRING 2016 In this episode of "Coffee with Hx2," Dr. Heidi Hutner speaks with the author and ecologist,Carl Safina, about his most recent book, Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel (Henry...

Students to Study Human Use Patterns at Ashley Schiff Park Preserve

When Margaret Conover asked the Sustainability Studies Program if we could quantify use-patterns in the Ashley Schiff Park Preserve, two Environment and Human Impact students enthusiastically said yes! With the help of Dr. Sharon Pochron, students Alexandra VanLoo and...

SoMAS Photo Competition 2015

The SoMAS photo competition is intended to be an annual event where students (graduate and undergraduate), faculty and staff will get to share their pictures with the SoMAS community and the general public. There will be three winning photos every year, one for each...

Carl Safina Installed as Inaugural Safina Endowed Research Professor

via Stony Brook Happenings » Carl Safina Installed as Inaugural Safina Endowed Research Professor. Stony Brook University Professor Carl Safina, PhD, one of the nation’s most respected environmental writers, was formally installed as the inaugural holder of the Carl...

SoMAS MCP Students Write Letter to Newsday regarding Lloyd aquifer

As part of a class assignment in Distilling Your Message, Professors Carl Safina and Christine O'Connell have students write a letter to the editor and send it in.  The letter written by SoMAS Marine Conservation and Policy students Katie Flowers and Danica Warns was...

Carl Safina’s Latest Wins 2012 Orion Book Award

As they say on Top 40 radio, "...and the hits just keep on coming!" The catchy phrase is just as apt when applied to SoMAS Adjunct Professor Carl Safina, renowned ocean conservationist, lecturer and author. In early May, Orion magazine announced that its prestigious...

Carl Safina Named Finalist for the 2010 Indianapolis Prize

Award Celebrates Outstanding Achievement in Animal Conservation Just as Rachel Carson sounded the alarm that launched the environmental movement, renowned biologist Carl Safina has become the sounding bell for the sea and all its inhabitants. Because of his work to...

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