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Earthstock, the Stony Brook University annual celebration of Earth Day, has been an annual tradition for years.  This year, in honor of our 50th Anniversary, SoMAS had a very significant presence at the event.

On Monday April 17th, New York State Assemblyman Steve Englebright was a guest lecturer in Dr. Malcolm Bowman and Dr. Larry Swanson‘s ENS 301 class.

On Tuesday April 18th, SoMAS/SUS Alum Erica Cirino spoke about her trip to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in her “Go and See Tour.”  The video is available on YouTube.  Later that afternoon, a panel discussion on “Adapting to a Changing Climate – Coastal Infrastructure and Sustainable Cities” was held in the Humanities Institute and featured CEAS Dean Fotis Sotiropoulos, Dr. Malcolm Bowman, William Golden , CEO of the National Institute for Coastal & Harbor Infrastructure and Dr. Robert Yaro from the University of Pennsylvania.

On Wednesday April 19th, SEVEN Sustainability Studies alumni returned for the yearly panel discussion:  Shameika Hanson, 2015 EHM, Emily Markowitz, 2016 MAR, Mai Fahmy, 2015 EHI, Shawn Nuzzo, 2013 EDP, Liam Trotta, 2013 EDP and Erica Cirino, 2014 ENS. The discussion was moderated by lecturer Michael White and the video is on YouTube.

Thursday April 20th featured the keynote event hosted by The Sierra Club, SoMAS, Sustainability Studies and Stony Brook University.  The “Roadshow of Resistance: Saving the Planet, Indigenous Rights and Standing Rock,” featured the poetry and hip-hop music of Native American Lyla June Johnson, the songs of Casey Neill, speeches by Cheryl Angel and Brytnee Laurette.

The highlight of the week was on Friday April 21st at the Earthstock Showcase.  Rain unfortunately moved the event indoors but that didn’t dampen any spirits!  SoMAS and Sustainability Studies were present with displays from faculty labs, clubs and associated groups.

And on Earth Day, Saturday April 22, The Environmental Club celebrated Earth Day and the end of the semester with their Green Gala.

Interim Dean Larry Swanson played a key part in many of the week’s events and had these remarks:

The week-long celebration of ​Earthstock​ was a huge success and in many ways it was due to the efforts of the staff, students, and faculty in SoMAS. The main event ​on Friday ​was moved indoors to the S​tudent ​A​ctivities ​C​enter​ because of the rain​,​ so the organizational effort was greater than usual. Assemblyman Ste​v​e Englebright, Legislator​ Kara​ Hahn, and​​ Councilwoman ​Valerie ​Cartwright participated in the opening ceremony. SoMAS clearly was dominant in showcasing its programs. There were many outstanding ​exhibit​s​ such as ​Nils’s sediment sections a​nd​ Sam Gurr’s monitoring the heartbeat of a mussel. Who would have ever thought​?​ I didn’t come very close to guessing the number of worms in Sharon’s ball of worms​ ​–​ ​or ​so she told me. And,​ ​Tom’s magnetic sand and other oceanic trinkets were also great.


I want to thank all who helped. ​I​ know that the​y worked hard to make it happen and all of us at ​S​oMAS are greatly appreciative. ​Mark Lang deserves particular mention for pulling much of it together.​


SoMAS was well-represented on the Earthstock Administrative Committee which included Maureen Murphy, Malcolm Bowman, Jeff Levinton, Heidi Hutner, Tara Rider and Mark Lang.


Many thanks to the following people who organized​ exhibits and volunteer​ed​ at Earthstock:

  • Mark Wiggins for providing expert logistical assistance getting exhibits, exhibitors and attendees to the event.
  • Karen Warren and Maureen Murphy with the Gelfond Fund for Mercury Research
  • Tara Rider and Kurt Bretsch with the SoMAS, Semester by the Sea and Summer Oceanography program.
  • Nils Volkenborn with graduate students Sam Gurr and Ian Dwyer demonstrating
  • T​om​ Wilson with Chris Crossby with the Instrument Lab exhibit
  • Sharon Pochron and the Earthworm Toxicology Lab
  • Rachel Silver and the Shinnecock Restoration Program
  • Christina Ozelis with the Sustainability Studies program
  • Nicole Casamassina, Andrew Seaman, Matthew McDermott and the Meteorology Club, advised by Brian Colle
  • Kylie Campanelli and the Sierra Club, advised by David Taylor
  • Chad Marvin and the SBU Gardening Guild, advised by David Taylor
  • Katherine Gregory and the Environmental Club, advised by Kamazima Lwiza


Paul St. Denis and Gaoqi Zheng from the Teaching and Learning Lab visited the Earthstock Showcase with Ricoh Theta 360° camera and captured several images and video of the event.  Visit their Earthstock VR Tour to check it out!

Photos taken by Malcolm Bowman, Nicole Casamassina, Mark Lang, Tom Wilson, Kurt Bretsch, Tara Rider, Mark Wiggins are available on Google Photos.

#Earthstock opening ceremony with a wonderful speech from Dr. Bowman from @somas.sbu

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Come join us today at @stonybrookuniversity #Earthstock !

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