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Picture above: Teaser image for SoMAS Documentary on Dr. Lee Koppelman

SoMAS students Megan Gallagher and Anna Smith have created a documentary about Long Island Urban Planner and Stony Brook University Professor Emeritus Lee Koppelman.  They recently released the trailer for the film, which can be found below.  Megan is an Environmental Humanities Major with a Biology Minor, and Anna is an Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences Major with an Environmental Humanities minor. The students were mentored by Dr. David Taylor, faculty advisor of Environmental Humanities, and Mark Lang, Senior Systems Engineer at SoMAS.

The documentary focuses on Dr. Koppelman’s legacy on Long Island, and features interviews with Dr. Larry Swanson, Dr. Tara Rider, Dr. Dewitt Davies, and Richard Murdocco.  The film is set to premiere on Friday, September 20 at 5:30pm in Endeavour Hall Room 120 at the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences at Stony Brook University. A Q&A will follow the film.

Just recovering from WWII, Long Island in the 1950s became a place of mass urban expansion and sprawl, where our population was booming and our economy was expanding. Development stretched far beyond, with massive stretches of land being paved and built upon, our environment was in desperate need of preservation. The water supply and coastline were being polluted, unique forests were being destroyed, and farmers’ lands were being threatened. But in the 1960s, Dr. Lee Koppelman had a vision for a plan to help save Suffolk County and ensure that it would have “enough open space for everyone to live comfortably” “so that it wouldn’t become like Queens.”

Special thanks to Dr. Malcolm Bowman, who was the originator of the idea for the documentary, Dr. Kevin Law, and Dr. Seth Forman, who provided key research and background information.


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