Photo above: Documentary film creators Anna Smith and Megan Gallagher with Dr. Lee Koppelman
SoMAS undergraduate students Megan Gallagher, an Environmental Humanities Major with a Biology Minor, and Anna Smith, an Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences Major with an Environmental Humanities minor premiered their documentary about Long Island Urban Planner and Stony Brook University Professor Emeritus Lee Koppelman on Friday September 20, 2019 in Endeavour Hall Room 120. As previously noted, Dr. Koppelman “played an immense role in balancing planned growth and environmental preservation in one of the fastest growing regions in the United States” as director of the Suffolk County Planning Department for 28 years (1960-1988) and the Nassau-Suffolk County Regional Planning Board executive director for 41 years (1965-2006).
Dean Paul Shepson was the emcee for the evening, welcoming a full house to the event, including family and friends of Dr. Koppelman, Brookhaven Town Councilwoman Valerie M. Cartright, and Muriel Weyl, widow to SoMAS professor Peter Weyl. After Dean Shepson introduced student mentors Dr. David Taylor, faculty advisor of Environmental Humanities, and Mark Lang, Senior Systems Engineer at SoMAS, Anna and Megan introduced their film. The documentary focuses on Dr. Koppelman’s legacy on Long Island, tying together the history of expansion on post-war Long Island with Dr. Koppelman’s efforts at preservation. The interviews with Dr. Larry Swanson, Dr. Tara Rider, Dr. Dewitt Davies, and Richard Murdocco connect the story to educational mission of Stony Brook University.
After the premiere of the film, SoMAS Dean Shepson conducted a Question and Answer panel with the creators of the film, Megan Gallagher and Anna Smith, along with their mentors Dr. David Taylor and Mark Lang, and all the “stars” of the film: Dr. Lee Koppelman, Dr. Tara Rider, Dr. Larry Swanson, Dr. Dewitt Davies and Richard Murdocco. Video from the event is available on YouTube.
Photos from the Premiere taken by Maria Brown are available on Google Photos.