Skip to toolbar

Carl Safina

Professor
Carl Safina Endowed Research Chair for Nature and Humanity
Ph.D., Rutgers University
carl.safina@stonybrook.eduCarl-1
Marine vertebrates, fisheries policy, and raising awareness of ocean change

The Safina Center
5 Questions with Carl Safina

 


Carl Safina is best known for lyrical non-fiction writing. His work explores how we are changing the natural world and what the changes mean for human and non-human beings. Carl sees that the durability of human dignity and survival of the natural world will depend on each other; we cannot preserve the wild unless we preserve human dignity, and we cannot conserve human dignity while continuing to degrade nature. His work fuses scientific understanding, emotional connection, and a moral call to action.

Safina was born to parents whose Brooklyn apartment was filled with singing canaries—his father’s hobby. Trips to New York’s zoos, aquarium, American Museum of Natural History, and his uncles’ boat lit a city kid’s early fascination with animals. He began raising homing pigeons at age seven, and spent his teen years training hawks and owls, and immersed in fishing, bird-banding, and camping. Soon these passions took him on adventures in Kenya, Nepal, Greenland, and Arctic Canada and beyond.

Carl Safina’s seven books include “Song for the Blue Ocean,” “The View From Lazy Point; A Natural Year in an Unnatural World,” “A Sea in Flames; The Deepwater Horizon Oil Blowout,” “Beyond Words; What Animals Think and Feel,” and others. He hosted the 10-part PBS television series Saving the Ocean (which can be viewed at PBS.org). Carl contributes frequently to CNN.com, National Geographic, The New York TimesAudubonThe Huffington Post and others. His most recent TED Talk received a million views in its first month.
Audubon magazine named Carl Safina among its “100 Notable Conservationists of the 20th Century.” In 2011, Utne Reader listed him among “25 Visionaries Changing the World.” His work has won the Lannan Literary Award, Orion Book Award, National Academies’ Science Communication Award; the John Burroughs, James Beard, and George Rabb medals; Pew and Guggenheim fellowships, and a MacArthur “genius” fellowship.

Safina’s seabird studies earned him a Rutgers University PhD, then for a decade he worked on overhauling fishing policies, helping restore ocean wildlife. In the 1990s he helped lead campaigns to ban high-seas driftnets, overhaul U. S. fisheries law, improve international management of fisheries targeting tunas and sharks, achieve passage of a United Nations global fisheries treaty, and reduce albatross and sea turtle drownings on commercial fishing lines. Along the way, he became a leading voice for conservation, widening his interests from what is at stake in the natural world to who is at stake among the non-human beings who share this astonishing planet.

He is the endowed professor for Nature and Humanity at Stony Brook University and is founding president of the not-for-profit Safina Center. He has honorary doctorates from Drexel and Long Island Universities and the State University of New York.

Safina has been profiled in the New York Times, Rolling Stone, and on Nightline, and has been featured on National Public RadioBill Moyers’ special Earth on Edge; on on TV shows ranging from The Martha Stewart Show to The Colbert Report.

His latest bestselling book, Beyond Words; What Animals Think and Feel, affirms his role as one of today’s leading voices for nature. In The New York Review of Books, Tim Flannery wrote: “Beyond Words is gloriously written… Along with Darwin’s Origin and Richard Dawkins’s Selfish GeneBeyond Words has the potential to change our relationship with the natural world.”

(More at CarlSafina.org, SafinaCenter.org.)

 

Related Articles

Summer Updates from SoMAS Faculty

Above: a close-up photo of a bay scallop (Photo by Chris Paparo). Congratulations to the recent research grants awarded to SoMAS faculty! Dr. Bassem Allam and co-PI Dr. Emmanuelle Pales Espinosa have received an Award from NSF in support of the project "RAPID: A...

SoMAS Photo Competition 2020

The SoMAS photo competition is an annual event where students (graduate and undergraduate), faculty and staff share their pictures with the SoMAS community and the general public. This year we have changed our categories to better represent our SoMAS diversity and...

Celebrating the Class of 2020 – SoMAS Convocation

Congratulations to our graduates!  The annual SoMAS Convocation occurred virtually for the first time on Friday, May 22, 2020 on the SoMAS website, Facebook and YouTube. Students gathered with their friends and family and SoMAS faculty, staff, and fellow students to...

Graduating SoMAS Senior featured in URECA Researchers of the Month

From Researchers of the Month May 2020 on the URECA website, May 2020 Graduating senior and Marine Vertebrate Biology and Applied Math and Statistics double major Delphine Mossman, mentored by Dr. Jeffrey Levinton, has been selected as one of the URECA Researchers of...

2020 Earthstock Festival: A Virtual Celebration of the Earth

From 2020 Earthstock Festival: A Virtual Celebration of the Earth by Glenn Jochum on Stony Brook University News, April 22, 2020. Stony Brook University’s Earthstock celebration, a much anticipated campus tradition since 2002, is taking place in a much different...

Celebrating the Top Stories of the Decade

As 2019 draws to a close, so does another decade of Making Scientific Research Count.  The School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences accomplished much in the years between 2010 and 2019, recording $82 million in research expenditures, and over 1,300 degree...

New York State Ocean Acidification Task Force to Meet on December 3

The third public meeting of the NYS Ocean Acidification Task Force will take place on Tuesday, December 3, 6:30-8:30 pm in 201 Wang Center.  All are invited to attend. Dr. Brad Peterson from the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences at Stony Brook University will...

New York State Ocean Acidification Task Force Meeting

The next meeting of the New York State Ocean Acidification Task Force will be held on Tuesday, June 18, 2019 from 6:30 – 8:30 pm at School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences at Stony Brook University in Endeavour Hall Room 120. The Ocean Acidification Task Force works...

SoMAS 2019 Photo Competition

The SoMAS photo competition is an annual event where students (graduate and undergraduate), faculty and staff share their pictures with the SoMAS community and the general public. The Photo Competition will be divided into three categories with a single winner in each...

Print Friendly, PDF & Email