The Department of Geosciences presents

Geology Open Night

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Fall 2001 Offerings

Open night lectures are usually on topics in the geosciences related to the current research of the faculty, staff and students at SUNY Stony Brook. These presentations are intended for:

  • those interested in new developments in the sciences

  • earth science high school students and teachers

  • undergraduate and graduate students in geosciences

  • professional geologists

In-service Credit is available for teachers attending the Geology Open Night lectures.

We will be having Geology Open Nights on
Friday September 28, 2001
Friday October 26, 2001
Friday November 30, 2001

7:30 to 8:30 p.m. 
Earth and Space Sciences Building 
Lecture Hall (Room 001)
SUNY Stony Brook Campus

How do I get to the Earth and Space Sciences Building at SUNY Stony Brook?

There will be Refreshments and Demonstrations after the Geology Open Night Presentations.

Admission is Free!!



Prof. Taylor had to 
cancel his presentation

“Chemistry of the Martian Surface: 
A Window to the Past” 

Prof. Scott McLennan 
Professor and Chair of the 
Department of Geosciences

7:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Friday September 28

Human Life on Long Island: 
The First Ten Thousand Years

David Bernstein
Director Institute for 
Long Island Archaelogy

7:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Friday October 26

Geology of 
Long Island Sound Basin

Ralph Lewis
Connecticut State Geologist

7:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Friday November 30


Stuart Ross Taylor
Professor Emeritus
The Australian National University

7:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Friday September 28

Are We Alone in the Universe?

This question has been around for 24 centuries since it was first raised by the Ancient Greeks. During the past 40 years, the exploration of the solar system has provided much new evidence about the origin and evolution of our planets and of the formation of the Earth. The recent discovery of over 60 planets circling other stars has now told us that other worlds exist. In this talk, I will discuss the origin of the Earth and of our solar system. Then I will compare the extrasolar planets with ours to see whether planets like the Earth, capable of supporting intelligent life, are likely to be common or rare in the universe.

Prof. Ross Taylor is a world renowned geochemist and planetary scientist whose recent research interests include the origin and evolution of Earth's continental crust, the origin of the Moon, and the formation and early evolution of the solar system.  Among his many scientific accomplishments was to perform the first chemical analysis on lunar rocks as part of the Apollo 11 Preliminary Examination Team.  He has received both the Goldschmidt and Leonard Medals, the highest honors in the fields of geochemistry and planetary science, respectively, is a Foreign Associate of the United States National Academy of Sciences and has had an asteroid named after him.  He has published 225 scientific articles, on a wide range of topics in geochemistry, cosmochemistry and planetary science, as well as eight books.  His recent book, "Destiny or Chance:  Our Solar System and Its Place in the Universe", was also published as a "books on tape" by Orion Audio Books.


Australian Academy of Science Interview with Prof. Taylor


David Bernstein

Director, Institute for Long Island Archaeology
Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology
State University of New York at Stony Brook

Human Life on Long Island: 
The First Ten Thousand Years

7:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Friday October 26

This slide illustrated talk traces the 10,000 year history of Native Americans on Long Island before the arrival of the Europeans in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.  During the millennia prior to the European invasion, Native peoples adapted their lifeways to changing environmental and social conditions by strategically utilizing the rich and varied natural resources of the island.  The results of recent excavations conducted by SUNY-Stony Brook will be presented in order to highlight how modern investigations have produced an understanding of local Native American societies.  In addition to the lecture, examples of artifacts typically recovered on Long Island archaeological sites will be displayed and discussed.

Professor Bernstein is an archaeologist with a research interest in New World prehistory.  He has conducted archaeological investigations throughout northeastern North America, as well as lower Central America and the Caribbean.  Much of his work focuses on past coastal societies, an interest he is now actively pursuing on Long Island in his role as Director of the Institute for Long Island Archaeology.  Professor Bernstein is the author of numerous scholarly publications, including the book Prehistoric Subsistence on the Southern New England Coast.

 Long Island Our Story "The Indians of Long Island"
The Montauk and Shinnecock Indians
Native Americans of Long Island

Map and Names of Native Americans
on Long Island
Long Island Indians and The Early Settlers

Native American Nations


Ralph Lewis
Connecticut State Geologist

Geology of 
Long Island Sound Basin

7:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Friday November 30

A total of approximately 22.7 billion cubic meters of marine sediment has accumulated in the Long Island Sound basin in the past 15,000 years. The major geologic components of the Long Island Sound basin, bedrock, buried coastal-plain strata, recessional moraines, glacial lake deposits, and the remains of a large marine delta, interact with the water body sufficiently to affect the distribution of these sediments.  A significant portion of the marine section of the central and western basins was redistributed from the eastern Sound, as tidal scour removed up to 5 billion cubic meters of fine material from glacial lake and early marine deposits east of the Connecticut River.

Ralph Lewis has been the State Geologist since 1997.  In this capacity he is responsible for overseeing the activities of the State Geological and Natural History Survey of Connecticut. The Survey develops and conducts geological and biological programs involving basic research, data collection, inventories, monitoring and analysis, habitat and species protection, resource evaluations, technical assistance and outreach. 

Recent outreach activities have involved developing several geology workshops for earth science teachers. Previously, Ralph was the Director of the Long Island Sound Resource Center where he was involved in research relating to the geologic framework and sediment system of Long Island Sound.  Ralph is a Certified Professional Geologist with 24 years of professional experience.  He has published over 100 papers and abstracts culminating in a Thematic Section of the Journal of Coastal Research, which he co-edited.

Geologic History of  Long Island Sound

In-service credit available for teachers

If your school requires that you have a sequence of educational opportunities in order to receive in-service credit, please advise them that during the Spring Semester we will be offering one-hour of in-service credit for each of the:

Three Geology Open Nights
Meets last Friday of month

Four Astronomy Open Nights
Website for more information is:
Meets first Friday of month

Four The Worlds of Physics - 
Web site for more information is:
Meets second Friday of month

Three The Living World

One Long Island Geologists Dinner

Geology Open Night, Astronomy Open Night, The Worlds of Physics and the Living World meet in ESS 001 at 7:30 p.m.

We will offer 7.5 hours of in-service credit for the Long Island Geologists conference on the Geology of Long Island and Metropolitan New York on April 20, 2002

We will offer up to 7.5 hours for the Long Island Geologists field trip in October.

Long Island Geologists web site is:

A more detailed description can be found at this link.

There will be Refreshments and Demonstrations after the Presentations.

Admission is FREE!

Presentations are in Room 001 ESS Building SUNY Stony Brook

How do I get to the Earth and Space Sciences Building at SUNY Stony Brook?