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Welcome to SoMAS!

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 family is a great group of people. Our future success lies in upholding our spirit of collegiality and excitement of shared purpose for meeting the challenges currently facing the Earth and its inhabitants. We embrace the values of diversity, equity and inclusion, striving to provide a safe, respectful, welcoming and intellectually stimulating environment for everyone.  We will lead by example, nurturing the next generation of global leaders and celebrating each other’s successes.

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.

Vision of SoMAS

Be a world-class integrative program in marine, atmospheric and sustainability research and education, committed to a culture that promotes academic excellence, diversity, equity and inclusion.

Mission of SoMAS

To advance knowledge and solve critical global and regional problems through the study of human and natural systems.

Goal 1: Double the SoMAS research enterprise and pursue excellence through disciplinary and interdisciplinary research.

Goal 2: Develop the next generation of leaders to address interwoven environmental, technical, social, economic, political and ethical challenges.

Goal 3: Lead efforts to understand, mitigate and adapt to climate change and other environmental problems at regional and global scales.



Fun Facts about SoMAS