SoMAS News from Stony Brook University and other sources

SoMAS Participates in New York Harbor Educational Tour

On October 10, 2017, the National Institute for Coastal and Harbor Infrastructure commemorated the fifth anniversary of Super Storm Sandy with a Coastal Resiliency Storm Surge Barrier Boat Tour in New York Harbor.  As described in the invitation “Join us as Scientists, Engineers, Urban Planners and other experts narrate a NYC waterfront view of the impacts of Sandy and how the NY NJ Metropolitan Regional Storm Surge Barrier would provide a “layered defense” protecting the city and 820 miles of NYC Metro coastline for the next 100 years or more.” The group departed Chelsea Piers aboard the Classic Harbor Lines Yacht “Manhattan II” from Pier 62, West 22nd & the Hudson River

SoMAS Professor Malcolm Bowman was on board to continue to push for storm surge barriers to protect the New York area.  Dr. Bowman is the chairman and founder of the New York New Jersey Metropolitan Storm Surge Working Group.

Bill Golden, President of the National Institute for Coastal and Harbor Infrastructure sent this message following the event:

Thank you for joining us on Tuesday’s Coastal Resiliency and Storm Surge Barrier Boat Tour.

Our sold out Tour provided us all with an opportunity to witness first hand the continuing vulnerability of the region to flooding and devastation from the next Super Storm. It was clear from the presentations of over 20 experts given the physical oceanography of the region and the complicated regional interdependence of infrastructure, commerce, workforce and diverse lifestyles, only a regional storm surge barrier system could reliably and comprehensively protect the dense integration of development, recreational facilities and historic and cultural sites that is our Metropolitan area.


With your strong and continuing support, our proposal for a Regional Storm Surge Barrier System for Long Island and the New York and New Jersey Metropolitan Area has now been endorsed by a growing number of public and private sector leaders. Our Proposal has also attracted significant media interest and support.


In addition to being the cover story of amNewYork, the front page of the Metro Section of the New York Times, on CBS TV, PBS TV and Radio in both New York and New Jersey, the Boat Tour and our May Conference has been covered in an article just published in Downtown Magazine. I have also been contacted by Newsweek and by Associated Press and informed that they are working on more extensive articles.


Again, thank you for your continuing support and assistance and for working actively to build support for a regional storm surge barrier system with your elected representatives, colleagues and communities.

For more information about the event or the National Institute for Coastal and Harbor Infrastructure, please visit their web page.

2017 Press



2016 Press

2015 Press
Feb 19, 2015 STONY BROOK, NY, February 20, 2015 – Science on Tap, a live event and web … the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, and marine biologist Debra …
Feb 8, 2015 … the last 100 years dramatically changed the atmospheric asymmetry … University’s School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences(SoMAS), ……/2015-01-14-david-conover-vp-for-research.php
Jan 13, 2015 … David O. Conover, Interim Vice President for Research and Professor of Marine Science in the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences …


STONY BROOK, N.Y., October 10, 2014 –Stony Brook University will host its second TEDxSBU event on Nov. 14, 2014, from 9:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. in the Charles B. Wang Center Theater. The theme of this year’s event is “Connect the Dots,” and will feature 16 speakers and performers from Stony Brook’s student, faculty, staff, and alumni populations.

“I am thrilled to see Stony Brook hosting the second annual TEDxSBU event,” said Vice President for Information Technology & CIO Cole W. Camplese. “TED is such a powerful series of events that inspires a global audience. To have the opportunity right here at home to not only host the event, but to share the brilliance of the Stony Brook community widely is a real honor.”

Topics from a wide variety of disciplines will be presented in two sessions. Each participant will take the stage for up to 18 minutes in front of an audience of 200 attendees (per TEDx rules.)

TEDxSBU, an independently organized event licensed by TED, will tentatively follow the schedule below*.

Master of Ceremonies: Nancy Franklin, Associate Professor, Psychology, Stony Brook University


First Session (10 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.)

Presenter Title/Department Title of Presentation
Thomas C. Wilson, Jr. Staff Member in the Ocean Instrument Laboratory, School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences For the Record: The Importance of Taking, Sustaining, and Preserving Critical Measures of Environment and Climate
Charles Robbins Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, Dean of Undergraduate Colleges Social Justice: Is it Still Relevant in the 21st Century?
Jeanette Yew Lighting, Design and Technology Lecturer in the Department of Theatre Arts Challenging and Relevant: Reimagining Antigone
Pooja Reddy Alumni, ‘14 MBA Connecting the Dots … and being that dot for someone!
TED Talk Video Sugata Mitra: Build a School in the Cloud 23-minute video
Morgan DiCarlo Undergraduate Student, Civil Engineering Major, Business Management Minor Using Mentorship and Hand-on Learning to Build the Next Generation of Female Engineers
Jon Oringer Alumni, ‘96 B.S. Computer Science and Mathematics Risk, Reward and Entrepreneurship
Michael Poon, MD Physician/Researcher – Launched Stony Brook’s Advanced Cardiovascular Imaging Program in 2009 Improvement in treatment for acute chest pain through advanced cardiovascular imaging and telemedicine
Anurag Purwar Research Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Alumni, ‘05 Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering Machine design innovation through technology and education
TED Talk Video George Takei: Why I love a country that once betrayed me 16-minute video


Session Two (3 – 7 p.m.)

Presenter Title/Department Title of Presentation
Nadia Jaber Graduate Student, Ph.D. candidate in Molecular and Cellular Biology Reimagining the Ph.D.
Joe Schultz Undergraduate Student, Economics Major,
Music Minor
The sounds of the Didgeridoo, the world’s oldest wind instrument
Erik Callender Alumni, ‘06 B.S. Biology, Minored in Environmental Studies Follow Your Dreams
Margaret Conover Faculty, Center for Science and Mathematics Education A Cure for Plant Blindness
TED Talk Video Marcel Dicke: Why not eat insects? 17-minute video
Robyn Stein DeLuca Faculty, Research  Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, Alumni ‘99 Ph.D. Social Health Psychology The Good News About PMS
Dean Miller Faculty, School of Journalism, Director of the Center for News Literacy You Don’t Want to Hear It (and that’s a problem)
Turhan Canli Faculty, Associate Professor of Integrative Neuroscience, Department of Psychology Is Depression an Infectious Disease?
TED Talk Video Ed Gavagan: A story about knots and surgeons 13-minute video
Sam Parnia, MD Faculty, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Director of Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation Research Erasing Death
Evening Reception

Tickets go on sale on Tuesday, Oct. 14, at Stony Brook’s Student Activities Center (SAC) Box Office and online at Ticket prices are $25 per session. Students who purchase a ticket get a free TEDxSBU T-shirt. The first session includes lunch, while the second session includes an afternoon snack and evening reception. There is also an option to buy a full-day pass for $50.

Stony Brook will be streaming the event live at, while the WUSB 90.1 FM radio station will broadcast the event throughout the day. There will be rooms set aside as viewing locations on both East and West Campus (exact locations to be announced at a later date) for people who are unable attend the event.

This event is being sponsored by Stony Brook University’s Division of Information Technology, the Office of External RelationsLynda.comElencoOffice of Alumni RelationsUndergraduate Student Government, and WUSB.

For more information about TEXxSBU contact Isobel Breheny at or visit Any inquiry regarding TED should be sent to the TEDx Media Liaison at To listen to last year’s TEDxSBU talks visit

Follow TED on Twitter at, or on Facebook at


About TEDx, where x = independently organized event
In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.

About TED
TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a four-day conference in California almost 30 years ago, TED has grown to support those world-changing ideas with multiple initiatives. The two annual TED Conferences invite the world’s leading thinkers and doers to speak for 18 minutes on a diverse mix of topics. Many of these talks are then made available, free, at TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Nandan Nilekani, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Isabel Allende and former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown. The TED2014 Conference will take place in Vancouver, British Columbia, along with the TEDActive simulcast in neighboring Whistler. TEDGlobal 2014 will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

TED’s media initiatives include, where new TED Talks are posted daily; the Open Translation Project, which provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as translations from volunteers worldwide; the educational initiative TED-Ed; and TEDBooks, short e-books on powerful ideas. TED has established the annual TED Prize, where exceptional individuals with a wish to change the world get help translating their wishes into action; TEDx, which supports individuals or groups in hosting local, self-organized TED-style events around the world; and the TED Fellows program, helping world-changing innovators from around the globe to amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities.

*Please note this schedule is subject to change without notice.



Deepwater Wind, Stony Brook University and AWS Truepower Launch Research Initiative Focused on Offshore Wind Energy

Providence, R.I. – September 24, 2014 – Deepwater Wind announced a collaborative study of Long Island’s offshore wind resources with Stony Brook University (SBU), New York’s top-ranked public university, and AWS Truepower (AWS), an Albany, NY-based wind energy consultant.  Already underway, this collaboration will provide SBU with tools and resources that will strengthen their atmospheric research in the growing renewable energy industry and support the development of the Deepwater ONE project – a 210 MW offshore wind farm to be located approximately 30 miles east of Montauk, proposed by Deepwater Wind in response to a Long Island Power Authority request for proposals for renewable energy.

As part of this study, Deepwater Wind is providing both equipment and funding to support SBU’s ongoing coastal wind research programs. Two wind monitoring devices, known as Light Detecting and Ranging systems (LiDAR), have already been deployed, one at the university’s Southampton campus and one on Block Island.  These LiDAR units continuously monitor wind speed and direction in the vertical to around 150 meters (about 500 ft) above the surface. Data collected from the devices will be combined with data from another SBU field study, funded by a U.S. Department of Energy grant, to improve atmospheric model wind predictions over the ocean in order to generate a better regional wind resource maps.

“This collaboration is truly unique in that it brings together the best science from a world-class research university with the resources of a leading offshore wind developer and the knowledge of one of the world’s most respected wind consultants,” said SBU School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences Professor and Principal Investigator Dr. Brian Colle. “Combining our respective resources and knowledge should bring some very helpful and informed findings.”

“Offshore wind energy can provide a much-needed source of new, renewable energy for the East End of Long Island while reducing fossil-fuel emissions, stabilizing energy costs and generating new jobs and investment,” said Deepwater Wind CEO Jeffrey Grybowski.  “We are proud to support research that will lead to a far better understanding of this important resource.”

“This special alliance will accelerate our understanding of how large offshore wind farms can meaningfully add to the mix of energy resources,” said AWS Truepower’s Bruce Bailey. “As a firm that has worked closely with developers, utilities, and government agencies, we fully appreciate what this unique opportunity can mean for Long Island, for New York State, and for a nation that seeks to tap into every viable resource and move closer to reliable energy independence.”

“These are historic times for renewable energy for the nation, the State of New York and Long Island because the technology has now matured to the point where renewables can compete with fossil fuels in providing business, commercial and residential communities with energy,” said Robert Catell, Chairman of the Board of the Center of Excellence for Advanced Energy and Research and Technology   at Stony Brook University, “We need to have a more thorough understanding of the important role wind can play in power generation, and this collaboration is the first step in achieving that goal.”

About Deepwater Wind

Deepwater Wind is America’s leading offshore wind and transmission developer, actively developing projects off both the East and West Coasts. The Company is led by a veteran management team with extensive experience in developing renewable-energy projects throughout the United States. The Company is actively planning offshore wind projects to serve multiple markets, including Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey and Oregon. The Company’s Block Island Wind Farm is on target to become the nation’s first offshore wind farm. Visit for more info, or follow us on Twitter @DeepwaterWind.


Editor’s Note: This press release was issued by Deepwater Wind on Wednesday, September 24, 2014


STONY BROOK, N.Y., August 28, 2014 – Stony Brook University has been named in Princeton Review’s 2015 Green Honor Roll, an annual list that offers a measure of how environmentally friendly universities are on a scoring scale of 60 to 99. Stony Brook, one of 24 universities to receive a score of 99 (the highest possible score), is among 861 colleges reviewed this year. Selection is based on data collected in its 2013-14 surveys of schools concerning their sustainability-related practices, policies, and academic offerings.

“Implementing green technologies, resources, and pollution-decreasing programs is a commitment that Stony Brook University has made to its students, faculty, staff, and they to their campus and to the community at large,” said Stony Brook University President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., MD. “We are in great company, and I am proud to say that as we continue to increase our efforts, and as we all continue to reduce our carbon footprint, everyone can take pride and celebrate in this outstanding distinction.”

Stony Brook has a long history of green awareness and environmental sustainability. It began with the Environmental Defense Fund which was cofounded in 1967 by Dr. Robert E. Smolker, a professor of Biological Sciences at Stony Brook University. Since then Stony Brook signed the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), created an Office of Sustainability and integrates sustainability into its facilities and services programs. The University also offers a comprehensive Sustainability Studies Program which offers five majors, six minors and a graduate certificate in Geographic Information Systems, as well as a Fast-track BA-MBA.

As a recognized leader in the field of sustainability and included in the Princeton Review’s “Guide to 334 Green Colleges” for the past five years, Stony Brook University takes pride in the numerous initiatives that led to the Princeton Review’s 2015 Green Honor Roll. They include:

  • Recycled the most e-waste nationally in RecycleMania 2013 & 2014 competitions, and placed 1st in SUNY in the Gorilla category in 2013 & 2012;
  • Tree Campus USA” designation in 2014 by the National Arbor Day Foundation, in recognition of the university’s dedication to the five core standards that promote the health of trees and student involvement to improve their forests;
  • Designated a 2014 Groundwater Guardian Green Site by the Groundwater Foundation in recognition of its groundwater and environmental stewardship;
  • Stony Brook finished in 1st Place in the University category of Car Free Day Long Island 2013 by having its community pledge to be car free;
  • University vehicles are powered by a variety of sustainable propulsion systems, including bio-diesel/ultra-low sulfur diesel, hybrid and electric only;
  • Actively promotes biking on campus: solar powered “Wolf Ride Bike Share” program, expansive Paul Simons Memorial Bicycle Path, bicycle lockers, and bike racks on Stony Brook’s Transit vehicles;
  • University partners with various entities, including Suffolk Transit and 7Bus, to offer enhanced mass transit alternatives;
  • Multiple solar installations, including arrays that partially power buildings, metered parking lots and exterior lighting;
  • Energy performance contracts have been utilized to implement a variety of building energy efficiency initiatives (such as lighting, HVAC), and have saved over $31 million since 2006-07;
  • University uses energy efficient lighting, including LED, induction and fluorescent fixtures, as well as occupancy sensors in a variety of locations on campus;
  • University dining halls use biodegradable food packaging, offer reusable dining plates/utensils and recycle over 5,000 gallons of kitchen compost annually using an on campus, in-vessel food waste composter;
  • During the growing season, organic student vegetable gardenprovides dining hall with herbs and fresh vegetables;
  • Implemented managed print initiative, which promotes networked printing, toner/e-waste recycling and buying of recycled paper;
  • SBU operates a total of 10 electric vehicle charging stations (EVCS) on its main and R&D Park campuses;

The Green Rating scores appear in the profiles of the colleges posted on and the profiles of the schools in the 2015 editions of two Princeton Review guidebooks: “The Best 379 Colleges” and “The Complete Book of Colleges.”

For more information and images visit



Stony Brook, NY, April 28, 2014 – Stony Brook University was recognized twice during a week of Earth Day celebrations for environmental stewardship programs that place it as a leader in sustainability among all U.S. university and college campuses. The Princeton Review and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) named Stony Brook as one of the nation’s most environmentally friendly or “green” colleges for the fifth year in a row, and, in the RecycleMania 2014 tournament, Stony Brook finished strongly in multiple categories, and recycled the most e-waste of all colleges and universities for the second straight year.

Eco Leaders (L-R) Tom Bruno, Risa Cheung, Jessica Quickle,  Michael Shea- photo credit  John Griffin

“I am extremely proud and very impressed by the efforts of our students, faculty and staff to reduce our carbon footprint,” said Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D., President of Stony Brook University. “We are extremely competitive with great results in RecycleMania, but more important is the end result – living more responsibly with an eye toward environmental stewardship, hence our designation by the Princeton Review Guide to Green Campuses. These results reflect a true commitment from everyone on the Stony Brook campus.”

The Princeton Review’s Guide to 332 Green Colleges profiles institutions of higher education in the United States and two in Canada that demonstrate a strong commitment to sustainability in their academic offerings, campus infrastructure, activities and career preparation. As the leader in its total quantity of recycled e-waste, Stony Brook surpassed the second place finisher by 45,000 pounds, with a total of 125,498 pounds of e-waste recycling. Of the 68 colleges and universities listed in the Recyclemania 2014 competition, Stony Brook ranked fifth overall.

The Guide characterizes Stony Brook University as an institution with “a long history of green awareness and environmental sustainability.” It cites the University’s eight-year initiative to reduce utility costs by investing in facility infrastructure improvements that “continue to reduce energy costs in excess of $4 million annually.” It also highlights Stony Brook as the home to many buildings with green features, including the Advanced Energy Center, Frey Hall, the Marine Sciences Research Center, Nobel Halls, the Simons Center for Geometry & Physics, the Student Recreation Center, Southampton Library and West Side Dining. In addition, the Guide cites Stony Brook’s use of a variety of solar and energy-efficient solutions, including LED lighting, and its recent partnering with the New York Power Authority (NYPA) to create a campus Master Energy Plan.


According to Barbara Chernow, Senior Vice President for Administration, “Stony Brook University’s commitment to sustainability permeates throughout our administrative, facilities and academic programs and is highlighted by our green buildings, energy efficiency initiatives, alternative transportation services and comprehensive recycling programs. To date, our University has lowered its carbon footprint by 17.4% and is committed to carbon neutrality.”

“SUNY campuses across the state are among the most energy-smart in the nation, a leadership role that we continue to build upon through the expanded use of green technologies and sustainability initiatives,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. “Congratulations to Stony Brook University and all 10 SUNY campuses to be included in the 2014 Guide to Green Colleges. This recognition is much deserved and highly commendable.”

To develop the 2014 Guide, The Princeton Review partnered with the United States Green Building Council, a national nonprofit organization best-known for developing the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) green building certification program. USGBC launched its Center for Green Schools in 2010 to increase its efforts to drive change in how campuses and schools are designed, constructed, and operated.

According to Rob Franek, Senior Vice President and Publisher of The Princeton Review, today’s college-bound students have a significant interest in green issues. In a survey or more than 10,000 college applicants, the company found that 61 percent said having information about a school’s commitment to the environment would influence their decision to apply or attend the school.

“We are pleased to recommend Stony Brook University to the many students seeking colleges that practice and promote environmentally responsible choices and practices,” said Franek.

Stony Brook University’s history of green awareness goes back to 1967, when the Environmental Defense Fund, which advocates using science, economics, and law to tackle environmental problems, was co-founded by a Stony Brook professor. Since then, Stony Brook University has signed the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, created an Office of Sustainability and has integrated sustainability into administrative, facilities and academic programs. Today, the university’s comprehensive Sustainability Studies Program includes bachelor’s degrees in everything from Marine Science to Environmental Humanities.

Stony Brook offers degrees in Environmental Studies, Marine Sciences, Environmental Design, Policy and Planning, Ecosystems and Human Impact, Sustainability Studies, Coastal Environmental Studies and Business Management with a specialization in Sustainability, which is instrumental in equipping and training the next generation of green leaders.


2014 Press

Oct 20, 2014 Dr. Heidi Hutner, Director of Environmental Humanities and Associate Professor of Sustainability and English at Stony Brook University, has been appointed Director of the Sustainability Studies Program announced Dennis N. Assanis, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs. Hutner’s announcement comes after serving as the Interim Director of the Sustainability Studies Program.
Oct 9, 2014 Stony Brook University will host its second TEDxSBU event on Nov. 14, 2014, from 9:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. in the Charles B. Wang Center Theater. The theme of this year’s event is “Connect the Dots,” and will feature 16 speakers and performers from Stony Brook’s student, faculty, staff, and alumni populations.
Sep 23, 2014  Providence, R.I. – September 24, 2014 – Deepwater Wind announced a collaborative study of Long Island’s offshore wind resources with Stony Brook University (SBU), New York’s top-ranked public university, and AWS Truepower (AWS), an Albany, NY-based wind energy consultant.  Already underway, this collaboration will provide SBU with tools and resources that will strengthen their atmospheric research in the growing renewable energy industry and support the development of the Deepwater ONE project – a 210 MW offshore wind farm to be located approximately 30 miles east of Montauk, proposed by Deepwater Wind in response to a Long Island Power Authority request for proposals for renewable energy.
Aug 28, 2014 – Stony Brook University has been named in Princeton Review’s 2015 Green Honor Roll, an annual list that offers a measure of how environmentally friendly universities are on a scoring scale of 60 to 99. Stony Brook, one of 24 universities to receive a score of 99 (the highest possible score), is among 861 colleges reviewed this year. Selection is based on data collected in its 2013-14 surveys of schools concerning their sustainability-related practices, policies, and academic offerings.
Apr 28, 2014 Stony Brook University was recognized twice during a week of Earth Day celebrations for environmental stewardship programs that place it as a leader in sustainability among all U.S. university and college campuses. The Princeton Review and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) named Stony Brook as one of the nation’s most environmentally friendly or “green” colleges for the fifth year in a row, and, in the RecycleMania 2014 tournament, Stony Brook finished strongly in multiple categories, and recycled the most e-waste of all colleges and universities for the second straight year.

Stony Brook Southampton Celebrates Opening of State-Of-The-Art Marine Science Center

President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., Senator Kenneth LaValle and Assemblyman Fred Thiele were joined by members of the community to celebrate the ribbon-cutting of spectacular new research and teaching facility

SOUTHAMPTON, NY, September 27, 2013 – The Southampton Campus of Stony Brook University today celebrated the opening of its spectacular new state-of-the-art LEED-certified Marine Sciences Center for the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences (SoMAS).

At a ceremony held at the Stony Brook Southampton Campus, President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., MD, Provost and Sr. Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dennis N. Assanis, Sr. Vice President for Administration Barbara Chernow, and SoMAS Dean Minghua Zhang were joined by New York State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle, Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr., Stony Brook Council Chair Kevin Law to cut the ribbon and take a guided tour the new research and teaching facility.

The new 15,000-square-foot Marine Sciences Center, made possible through $6.9 million secured in the NYS budget by Senator LaValle and Assemblyman Thiele, supports the growth of the SoMAS undergraduate marine science and environmental science programs, and plays an important role in their ability to perform groundbreaking research into a variety of issues facing marine estuaries on Long Island and around the world.

The Marine Sciences Center replaced three small existing buildings and is home to a high-tech 2,500-square-foot Sea Water Lab with a computerized circulation system including four different temperature lines, as well as recirculation capabilities and quarantine and culture rooms. A titanium heat exchanger preheats or precools incoming sea water for substantial operational energy savings, and reduces the overall size of required heating and cooling equipment.

The Center also includes two wet labs, an analytical lab, classrooms, a conference room and other lab and support spaces, including an outdoor tank area that will expands the lab resources outside of the building. The facility will serve as a hub for public lectures and summer educational programs, with a large lobby/gathering room to support these public outreach programs.

Construction includes sustainable design features utilizing material that is sensitive both to experiments and the coastal marine environment, including energy recovery of ventilation air, daylighting of all normally occupied spaces, a low-static pressure ductwork system, high-efficiency lighting and a super-insulated exterior wall assembly.

At the ceremony, Dr. Stanley expressed gratitude to Senator LaValle and Assemblyman Thiele for their efforts in securing the funds to help make this project a reality.

“The new Marine Sciences Center will play a key role in augmenting SoMAS’ ability to perform groundbreaking studies in a variety of issues facing Long Island and the world today,” said President Stanley. “It will also enable us to offer more classes with rich experiential components.  There will be cutting-edge research with important implications for Long Island’s coastal ecosystems, including studies of harmful algal blooms, shellfish, eelgrass, fisheries, ocean acidification and aquaculture.

“This new Center will solidify Stony Brook’s reputation as the strongest undergraduate marine sciences program on the east coast and one of the best in the United States.”

“Now in addition to the Stony Brook campus, Southampton will be pivotal in the economic development of Long Island and will help to advance Start-Up NY particularly on the east end of Long Island,” said Senator LaValle during his remarks at the ribbon cutting. “I am confident that research done here over time will help resolve the problems we face on our waters, and hopefully put an end to our hearing about brown tide and algae blooms on our waterways.”

“This new Marine Science Center is another step forward for the Southampton Campus of Stony Brook University,” said Assemblyman Thiele at the ceremony. “We’ve seen a lot of steps forward; from the growth of Southampton Arts, Semester by the Sea, residential students living here and our continued discussions that will eventually yield in the move of Southampton Hospital to the Southampton Campus. It is great to see so much progress here.”

The new two-story facility will enable SoMAS to offer more classes with rich experiential components such as Marine Biology, Marine Mammals, Ichthyology, Physical Oceanography and more, all of which will be taught at the new Marine Sciences Center. Currently SoMAS is ranked sixth in the United States among marine and atmospheric sciences graduate programs, according to the National Research Council.

About the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences at Stony Brook University
There are more than 500 undergraduate students, 150 graduate students and 90 faculty and staff from 16 different nations working together at SoMAS to better understand how marine, terrestrial and atmospheric environments function and work in relation to one another. At Stony Brook Southampton, students can take courses that explore the natural flora, fauna and habitats of Long Island’s east end. SoMAS faculty and graduate students are engaged in cutting-edge research with important implications for Long Island’s coastal ecosystems, including studies of harmful algal blooms, shellfish, eelgrass, fisheries, ocean acidification, climate change and aquaculture. SoMAS locations allow students and faculty the opportunity 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 and Brookhaven National Laboratory. SoMAS operates research and educational facilities at Stony Brook University, Stony Brook Southampton and the Flax Pond Marine Laboratory on the Long Island Sound.

Stony Brook University Hosts NSF Funded Storm Chasing Project

Photo above: Pictured in front of the Doppler on Wheels 6 from left to right are: Professor Brian Colle, SoMAS at Stony Brook University; Joshua Wurman and Karen Kosiba of the Center for Severe Weather Research; and Kelly Lombardo, SBU Postdoctoral researcher.

 Doppler on Wheels 6 to measure small-scale weather phenomena around Long Island, NYC

STONY BROOK, NY, June 26, 2013 – Stony Brook University in collaboration with the National Weather Service (NWS) and the Center for Severe Weather Research in Boulder, CO, is hosting and participating in the DREAMS (Doppler Radar for Education And Mesoscale Studies) project, a three-week National Science Foundation-funded endeavor to study storms, sea breezes and other weather phenomena around the New York City (NYC) and Long Island area. The project, led by Dr. Brian Colle, a Professor in the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences (SoMAS) at Stony Brook, is utilizing the Doppler on Wheels 6 (DOW 6), a truck equipped with a Doppler weather radar and a set of weather instruments that can be deployed in the field (a “pod”). A research (Long –EZ) aircraft piloted by Professor John Mak of SoMAS is also collecting high frequency wind and temperature data just south of Long Island for some events.

The participants in DREAMS include Professor Colle and his Coastal Meteorology and Atmospheric Prediction (COMAP) research group, 15-20 Stony Brook undergraduate atmospheric students, some forecasters from the NWS office for NYC located at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), and a few students and faculty from Nassau Community College. The group is measuring and investigating small-scale phenomena, such as how thunderstorms evolve as they cross an urban coastal region such as New York City and Long Island, and how sea breezes develop on the north and south shores of Long Island, which can potentially modify thunderstorm development.

Students deploying an instrument pod at Jacob Riis Park in the Rockaways to study the inflow conditions associated with the severe thunderstorms to the north.

Long Island’s weather patterns, surface observations and numerical models have been studied in the past using conventional radar located at the NWS office at BNL. This project marks the first time a high-resolution Doppler radar can be brought up close to the action to zoom in on Long Island’s local weather phenomena.

“Students have the opportunity to operate the Doppler radar, launch weather balloons, deploy a weather instrument pod in the field, take weather observations with their vehicles and help with daily weather briefings for field operations,” said Professor Colle.

The research team is operating the DOW 6 to measure: the change in thunderstorm winds and precipitation intensity near the coast, the depth and inland movement and speed of the sea breeze, and how a strong low-level jet called the New York Bight Jet develops near the south shore of New York City due to the strong regional temperature gradients between the sea and land, and the small-scale precipitation structures associated with flooding rains.

Students using the DOW radar at Jacob Riis Park in the Rockaways on the south shore to scan a severe storm developing along a sea breeze front over Nassau and western Suffolk County in the early afternoon on 24 June 2013.

“This field project provides students an excellent opportunity to learn how a Doppler radar works,” said Professor Colle. “At the same time it provides a unique hands-on research opportunity on how different weather phenomena evolve around Long Island and New York City.”

The DREAMS project team will collect data in the DOW 6 at Smith Point County Park, Jones Beach State Park, Sunken Meadow State Park, Jacob Riis park near the Rockaways, Cedar Beach in Mount Sinai, the EPCAL site in Riverhead, and more.

The project kicked off at Stony Brook University on June 17, 2013 with an open house and seminar with Drs. Joshua Wurman and Karen Kosiba of the Center for Severe Weather Research and of the former Discovery Channel show “Storm Chasers.” During the presentation, Drs. Wurman and Kosiba explained how the Doppler on Wheels truck works and some of their experiences in the Great Plains studying tornado motion and evolution and on the coast studying small-scale wind structures within hurricanes.

SBU Study Published in PLoS ONE Shows Rate of Temperature Change Along World’s Coastlines has Itself Changed Dramatically Over the Past Three Decades

Photo above: Route 1, Monterrey Coastline; credit Dr. Hannes Baumann

STONY BROOK, N.Y., June 28, 2013 – Locally, changes in coastal ocean temperatures may be much more extreme than global averages imply.  New research published in the June 18 edition of Public Library of Science (PLoS ONE) entitled “Decadal Changes in the World’s Coastal Latitudinal Temperature Gradients,” is highlighting some of the distinct regional implications associated with global climate-change.  By looking at changes in coastal ocean temperatures over the past 30 years, Dr. Hannes Baumann in the Stony Brook University School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences (SoMAS) and Dr. Owen Doherty of Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SoMAS alumnus) mapped the differences in how the world’s coastlines are experiencing climate change, and discuss the possible large scale ecological implications of this.

Their results showed a great regional diversity in warming and cooling patterns.  For example, the South American Pacific coasts have been cooling over the last few decades. To some, these cooling trends may be counterintuitive, but they are consistent with global climate change predictions, such as increases in upwelling (i.e., a process that brings cold, deep ocean water to the coast).

In the North Pacific and North Atlantic, however, there has been warming trend.  In some areas, the authors detected changes in temperature of +/-2.5 degrees Celsius, which is 3 times higher than the global average. Climate change is happening everywhere – just not necessarily at the same rate, or even in the same direction.” For example, if you live on Cape Cod, your conditions are warming three times faster than global averages imply, while in Santiago, Chile, coastal waters have been getting cooler.

“The world is getting flatter,” said Baumann. “Coastal waters at high (cold) latitudes warm much faster than at low (warm) latitudes, hence the majority of the world’s coastal temperature gradients are getting shallower.  This could cause dramatic reorganization of organisms and ecosystems, from small plankton communities to larger fish populations.

“We already know, in general, that marine life changes in its characteristics along these North-South temperature gradients,” Baumann explains.  “For example, many coastal fish populations differ genetically from north to south, an adaptation to grow best a local temperature conditions.  With further study, we want to explore how changes in coastal ocean temperature gradients could predict large-scale changes in the ecosystem.”

Baumann and Doherty’s work is especially poignant in that it echoes the importance of regional and community resiliency in dealing with the effects of climate change, which was stressed in President Obama’s address earlier this week.  Regional consequences of climate change may be quite different. This study steps away from global average temperature predictions, and puts climate change in a more meaningful regional context.


About the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences at Stony Brook University
The School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences (SoMAS) is the State University of New York’s center for marine and atmospheric research, education and public service. With more than 85 faculty and staff and more than 500 students engaged in interdisciplinary research and education, SoMAS is at the forefront of advancing knowledge and discovering and resolving environmental challenges affecting the oceans and atmosphere on both regional and global scales.

Citation: Baumann H, Doherty O (2013) Decadal Changes in the World’s Coastal Latitudinal Temperature Gradients. PLoS ONE 8(6): e67596. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0067596

Fukushima-Derived Radioactivity in Seafood Poses Minimal Health Risks, Experts Say

Research results published in June 3 issue of PNAS 

STONY BROOK, NY, June 3, 2013 – In 2012, Nicholas Fisher a distinguished professor in the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences (SoMAS) at Stony Brook University and postdoctoral scholar Zosia Baumann, working with a colleague at Stanford University’s Hopkins Marine Station, reported that they had detected radioactivity in Pacific bluefin tuna swimming off the California coast. The source of the radioactivity was Japan’s Fukushima Dai-ichi powerplants, which were damaged by the strong earthquake and subsequent tsunami on 11 March 2011 and released large quantities of radioactivity into the Pacific Ocean. The news prompted widespread media interest and speculation as to the possible risks to seafood consumers posed by the levels of radioactivity found in the tuna.

Now, Fisher, Baumann and colleagues at Stanford and the French Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN) report in a paper entitled ” Evaluation of Radiation Doses and Associated Risk from the Fukushima Nuclear Accident to Marine Biota and Human Consumers of Seafood,” published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the US, that the likely doses of radioactivity ingested by humans consuming the contaminated fish, even in large quantities, is comparable to, or less than, the radiological dosages associated with other commonly consumed foods, many medical treatments, air travel and other background sources. The authors also conclude that contamination of Pacific bluefin tuna and other marine animals from Fukushima poses little risk to these animals.

Fisher and colleagues found that the sampled tuna contained elevated levels of radioactive cesium-134 and cesium-137, important components of the radionuclide mix released at Fukushima. Pacific bluefin tuna spawn in the western Pacific off Japan and reach the eastern Pacific, off the California coast, after a transoceanic migration.

In the original paper, the authors presented data on the radionuclide concentrations in the tissues of the bluefin, but did not estimate doses or health risks to marine biota or human seafood consumers that these concentrations might represent.  The new works takes this next step.

The levels of Fukushima-derived radionuclides in marine biota, including Pacific bluefin tuna, were compared with the radiation doses from naturally-occurring radionuclides in the same organisms. The principal radionuclide found in all samples is polonium (specifically the isotope 210Po), a naturally-occurring isotope that is an alpha-emitter, which causes greater biological damage.

“For American and Japanese seafood consumers, the doses attributable to Fukushima-derived radiation were typically 600 and 40 times lower, respectively, than the dose from polonium,” said Professor Fisher. “In estimating human doses of the Fukushima-derived radioactive cesium in Bluefin tuna, we found that heavy seafood consumers – those who ingest 124 kg/year, or 273 lbs., which is five times the US national average – even if they ate nothing but the Cs-contaminated bluefin tuna off California, would receive radiation doses approximately equivalent to that from one dental x-ray and about half that received by the average person over the course of a normal day from a variety of natural and human sources. The resulting increased incidence of cancers would be expected to be essentially undetectable.”

Stony Brook Southampton Invites the Public to Participate in Shinnecock Bay Restoration Program Eelgrass Replanting Event

Saturday forecast calls for 60 degrees and sunny

On Saturday, April 27 from 10 am until 2 pm, Stony Brook University scientists involved in the Shinnecock Bay Restoration Program (ShiRP) are inviting volunteers to help with an eelgrass replanting event to stimulate and replenish eelgrass beds in Shinnecock Bay. The event is designed to assist the scientists with eelgrass disc assembly; increase citizen science participation in the program; and to update the community with ShiRP’s progress.

Editor’s Note I: Restoration activity space is limited and an email RSVP is required. RSVP to Christine Santora, Program Coordinator at

Editors’ Note II: Volunteers are encouraged to bring a pair of scissors, a bag lunch, a hat and sunscreen, and to wear old clothing. Throughout the day there will be educational opportunities for non-volunteers to learn about the natural environment of Shinnecock Bay and the broader efforts of the Shinnecock Bay Restoration Program.

Saturday, April 27, 2013; 10 am to 2 pm

Stony Brook Southampton Marine Station
(across from SBU Southampton Campus on Old Fort Pond Road)
239 Montauk Highway, Southampton, NY 11968

The Shinnecock Bay Restoration Program, founded by scientists from the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences (SoMAS) at Stony Brook University and its Institute for Ocean Conservation Science, is using science, outreach and partnerships to restore the water quality and fisheries of the Shinnecock Bay. The aim of ShiRP is to reduce the occurrence of harmful algal blooms and increase shellfish populations and eelgrass beds to return Shinnecock Bay to a thriving estuarine environment.

From the Long Island Expressway: Take the LIE (495) east to Exit 70, then turn right on County Road 111; follow the signs for State Route 27 East/Montauk – Sunrise Highway. Take Route 27 East (which becomes County Road 39) and proceed 19 miles to Southampton Campus. Make right at the traffic light onto Tuckahoe Road. Go past the first entrance on Tuckahoe Road. Turn right at the next entrance.

Click here for a Google Map of the location.

Stony Brook University Secures $200 Million in 12 Months

Top Ten Historic Gift in Public Higher Education Brings Together Over 1, 500 Donors to Meet $50 Million Match from the Simons Foundation
Creates Historic Number of Scholarships, Fellowships and Endowed Chairs While Supporting Wide Range of Programs, from Medicine and Marine Sciences to Advanced Computing, Hellenic Studies and Modern Art

STONY BROOK, NY, March 4, 2013— Stony Brook University has long been known for providing opportunities for talented, high achieving students who want a quality, affordable, public  higher education experience  and the better future that goes with it. Now, a multitude of friends and former students have given to the University in historic fashion – helping to raise a staggering $200 million in 12 months.

This collective gift — involving more than 1,500 donors — is the largest in the University’s 57-year history, and is the sixth largest donation ever made to an American public university, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education. The catalyst was a $50 million matching challenge as part of the $150 million gift from philanthropist Jim Simons and his wife Stony Brook alumna Marilyn Hawrys Simons ’74, ’84. Designed to transform the University’s future through a wide range of educational and research endeavors, the Simons Gift has already generated a record number of scholarships, fellowships, endowed chairs and professorships, and benefited dozens of strategic initiatives across campus,  from the arts to marine sciences, from chemistry to medicine, from advanced  computing to Hellenic studies, to name a few.

“We were both surprised and delighted that our gift was matched so quickly,” Jim Simons said. “Stony Brook is an outstanding public university, offering a wonderful education at reasonable cost to many thousands of young people. The generosity of those who joined us in this effort will enhance the University in many dimensions, making that education more valuable still.”

The Stony Brook Foundation had estimated it would take three to five years to raise donations needed to match the Simons challenge. The goal was met and surpassed within a 12 month period, according to Stony Brook University President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., MD.

“We are honored and overwhelmed by the response to the Simons Foundation challenge from friends, faculty and staff, and alumni,” said Stony Brook University President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., MD. “Their generous investments in Stony Brook are a tangible expression of their commitment to public higher education and the important work we do here at Stony Brook.

The Umbilic Torus created by artist Helaman Ferguson and donated to Stony Brook University by Jim and Marilyn Simons and the Simons Foundation.

“And, of course,” added Stanley, “ it’s the kind of historic  outpouring that could only be inspired  by Jim and Marilyn, who have dedicated so much to philanthropy, especially that which furthers the boundaries of knowledge and science.”

Richard Gelfond, President of the Stony Brook Foundation, credited the Simons and the Simons Foundation with crafting their gift in a way that advanced the Stony Brook Foundation’s core mission. “The Simons gift was deliberately designed to support access, promote excellence, and create a culture of responsibility for supporting the greater good,” said Gelfond.

Dexter Bailey, Stony Brook Foundation Executive Director and Vice President of University Advancement, noted that the Simons matching challenge was not the 1,500 donors’ only motivator. “At their core, our donors are even more inspired by the mission of public higher education and the priorities of a world-class research university.”

Over time, a top priority of the University is to recruit 267 new faculty members to the University and  establish  100 endowed professorships and chairs funded by private dollars. “Endowed faculty appointments represent the highest academic honor and attract the best and brightest faculty to our campus,” said President Stanley. “In turn, these academic stars attract the best and brightest students. These great minds are what will solidify Stony Brook’s place among the elite universities in the country.”

Following, is a brief look at some of the many initiatives that will be advanced by the $100 million total raised through the $50 million from Stony Brook friends and alumni who answered the Simons’ $50 million  matching challenge: (further details available at

• Advancing Cardiac Imaging and Wellness: $4 million in total donations, including a major gift from  Eugene and Carol Cheng from Stony Brook class of 1997, who created an endowment to support cardiovascular imaging research by Dr. Michael Poon that advances non-invasive techniques to diagnose and treat heart disease; and $3 million from an anonymous donor to establish a Center for Cardiovascular Wellness and Preventative Research.

• Enhancing Hellenic & India Studies Programs:  $3.8 million in total donations, including $2.5 million from Dr. Nirmal Mattoo to establish a professorship and $100,000 from Dr. Krishna Gujavarty to fund a Seminar Series at the Center in India Studies and $1.2 million from George and Olga Tsunis to fund the Center in Hellenic Studies and a new professorship;

• Establishing an Advanced Supercomputing Institute: $10 million from an anonymous donor to create an Institute for Advanced Supercomputing at Stony Brook. Leading the new Institute is the renowned Robert Harrison, an expert in the high-performance computing applications  that will change the way science finds its answers, how industry develops its products, and how society analyzes its needs;

• Helping Restore Marine Environments: $1.5 million from the Laurie Landeau Foundation to  help fund a comprehensive program that is restoring the ecosystem of Long Island’s  Shinnecock Bay and serving as a model for other similar marine environments around the country;

• Investing in Imaging Technology and Enhancing Research in Pediatric MS: $2.5 million from Robert and Lisa Lourie to expand the research and  clinical advances that help diagnose, treat and prevent pediatric multiple sclerosis;

• Establishing a Chair in Modern Art: The Simons’ match of the $1.5 million gift from the Thaw Charitable Trust to strengthen the endowment of the Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center is being used to create the Eugene V. & Claire  E. Thaw Endowed Chair in Modern American  Art;

• Fostering Clinical and Educational Scholarship:   An anonymous $2 million gift to enhance the quality and effectiveness of teaching among clinician-educators at the School of Medicine and ;

• Expanding Access to Education Excellence:  $3.2 million earmarked for the equivalent of an estimated 628 student tuition scholarships for undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs.

“We should celebrate this historic moment at Stony Brook, but also understand that it will take continued collaboration and commitment to philanthropy to give us that margin of excellence consistent with all great research universities,” concluded Stanley. “It is an effort that is not only helping reinvent our University in the present, but one that will have many positive impacts for many generations to come.”

About the Stony Brook Foundation
The Stony Brook Foundation is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) corporation established in 1965 as the University’s sole repository for philanthropic contributions from individuals, corporations, foundations, and other organizations in support of Stony Brook University. The Foundation administers the University’s scholarship funds. Every dollar donated for scholarships goes directly to scholarships—no administrative fee is charged on scholarship accounts. For more information about contributing to our scholarship funds or creating an endowed named undergraduate scholarship or graduate fellowship, please call the Advancement Office at (631) 632-6300 or visit

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