Welcome to the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences (SoMAS) at Stony Brook University (SBU). We are the State University of New York’s designated center for marine sciences and a leader in marine, atmospheric and sustainability research, education, and public service. Currently, there are more than 500 undergraduate and graduate students and 90 faculty and staff from 16 different nations working together to better understand how our marine, terrestrial, and atmospheric environments function, are related to one another and how they and their associated living resources may be sustained for future generations. Research at SoMAS explores solutions to a variety of issues facing the world today ranging from local problems affecting the area around Long Island to processes that are impacting the entire globe.
The SoMAS faculty are internationally known for their leadership in research in the atmospheric sciences, all the major disciplines of oceanography – biological, chemical, geological, and physical, as well as sustainability studies. The expertise of SoMAS faculty places them in the forefront in addressing and answering questions about immediate regional problems, as well as long-term problems relating to the global oceans and atmosphere. The primary focus of the SoMAS faculty and students is on fundamental research designed to increase understanding of the processes that characterize the coastal ocean and the atmosphere. But the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences is also committed to a sustainable future by applying research to solve problems that result from society’s uses and misuses of the environment.
Our location on Long Island allows our students and faculty to explore and study a variety of habitats ranging from the open ocean to the largest metropolitan area in the United States, and to tap into resources at the nearby National Weather Service, Brookhaven National Laboratory, and the Laboratory of Cold Spring Harbor. In addition to our presence on the main campus of Stony Brook University, SoMAS also operates research and educational facilities at the Stony Brook Southampton campus (including the Southampton Marine Station with access to the Atlantic Ocean) and the Flax Pond Marine Laboratory on Long Island Sound.
Academic units like SoMAS exist in a dynamic environment. The School’s core mission, principles and values provide the guideposts as the program navigates a world in which trends in scientific knowledge, technological innovation, pedagogical theory, budgets, socioeconomic factors and a myriad other factors intermesh to produce opportunities and constraints to achieving them. Periodically, we take a step back to assure that we can still see the forest for the trees. This was most recently done in 2018 and the new SoMAS Strategic Plan, “A Vision for SoMAS Science, Education, and Outreach Leadership, 2019-2024”, is available on our website as of April 22, 2019.
SoMAS became a school at Stony Brook University in 2007, but we have existed for more than 50 years as the Marine Sciences Research Center (MSRC) and the Institute for Terrestrial and Planetary Atmospheres (ITPA). The Sustainability Studies Program joined the school in 2015.
The latest summary of the research and faculty and staff at SoMAS is available in our Biennial Report.
Fun Facts about SoMAS:
- We have facilities and laboratories on the South Campus of Stony Brook University and at Southampton and Flax Pond, with access to both the Long Island Sound and the Atlantic Ocean
- Our fleet consists of the R/V Seawolf , the R/V Pritchard, the R/V Privateer, the R/V Parker, the R/V Paumanok, the R/V Peconic, and the R/V Shinnecock
- Our flagship, the R/V Seawolf, was featured on an episode of Storage Wars New York
- One of our alumni, Tom DiLiberto, was named America’s Science Idol
- We have four faculty and emeritus faculty that have, through the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change with Al Gore, won the Nobel Prize for Peace.
- Our Boathouse is certified by Ripley’s Believe it or Not!
- We maintain weather stations at three locations on the Stony Brook University campus: South P Lot, Southampton Marine Station and the Health Sciences Center. Additional weather and marine monitoring stations across Long Island are maintained by SoMAS faculty, staff and students.
According to the Stony Brook University Project 50 Forward, SoMAS is scheduled to move to a new home on the main campus of Stony Brook University. The time frame for this move is currently unknown.