Dear SoMAS Students, Staff, Faculty, Alumni, and Friends:

2017 is the year to celebrate!  It is hard to believe, but SoMAS and its predecessor organization the Marine Science Research Center (MSRC) are celebrating our golden anniversary.  There isn’t one moment that defines our creation—instead it’s a number of events including when the New York State Legislature signed the bill designating MSRC, when we hired our first faculty member, when we became an independent entity within the university (originally we were in Earth and Space Sciences).  Consequently, we will celebrate throughout 2017 with a series of activities that commemorate our 50th showcasing our marine, atmospheric, and sustainability programs.

Along with our evolution, we want to recognize some of our most outstanding scientific accomplishments and service to the state, celebrate our many outstanding alumni, faculty, staff, and students, and promote environmental awareness and sustainability.  We will culminate the year some time around Alumni Weekend in October with an environmental media program with the theme Make Scientific Research Count (MSRC).  Given the current misgivings about the future of the planet’s environment, this acronym concerning scientific communication could never be more important.

As we start the Spring semester, be on the lookout for and participate in upcoming events that emphasize our 50th.  We will begin 2017 with Mary Allred of Baruch College speaking about nitrogen removal ecosystem services in Jamaica Bay at our Friday, Ocean and Atmosphere Colloquium.  On February 18, join us for our 16th annual Bay Scallop Bowl when we will once again have 16 high school marine science teams from all over the State of New York competing to be the best in order to move on to the national competition. On May 5th our Okubo Distinguished Scholar will be Greg Marshall, (M.S., 1988), inventor of the Crittercam.  Also in May we will have our annual Vax to Flax run.  For those of you who will be traveling to the ASLO Aquatic Sciences meeting in Honolulu, Mary Scranton and Gordon Taylor are organizing a reunion.

We are also starting to compile the stories and photos from alumni, faculty, staff, and students on outstanding or amusing remembrances of being part of SoMAS.  Please share yours by sending to  We hope to share these memories, where appropriate, on our web site and through our Facebook and Instagram social media channels.

Stay tuned and help make this a year to remember.


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