The Department of Geosciences presents

Geology Open Night

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Spring 2003 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 February 28, 2003
Friday March 28, 2003
Friday April 25, 2003
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?


You may also be interested in Astronomy Open Night lectures the first Friday of the month, The Worlds of Physics lectures the second Friday of the month and The Living World the third Friday of the month In-service credit is also available for teachers for attending these lectures.

A single point entry to all of the science open night lectures is available at this link

All of these lectures are in ESS 001 Lecture Hall

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

Admission is Free!!

Web pages describing earlier Geology Open Night presentations
Spring 1998Fall 1998, Spring 1999, Fall 1999, Spring 2000, Fall 2000, Spring 2001, Fall 2001, Spring 2002, Fall 2002


Is Venice in Peril?  
Deciphering the impact of sea level rise on the Venice Lagoon

J. Kirk Cochran 
Marine Sciences Research Center

7:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Friday February 28, 2003

Why are there so many different kinds of igneous rocks?

Hanna Nekvasil
Department of Geosciences

7:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Friday March 28, 2003

Madagascar's Buried Treasure: New Discoveries of Dinosaurs and Other Fossils 

David Krause
Anatomical Sciences

7:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Friday April 25, 2003


Is Venice in Peril?  
Deciphering the impact of sea level rise 
on the Venice Lagoon

Prof J. Kirk Cochran
Marine Sciences Research Center

7:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Friday February 28, 2003

The Venice lagoon is a natural laboratory for studying the impacts of global, as well as local, changes on a coastal ecosystem.  The relative rise in sea level, partly eustatic and partly due to subsidence induced by groundwater extraction in the nearby mainland industrial area, makes Venice increasingly subject to flooding.  The proposed solution, construction of flood barriers at the lagoon inlets, has implications for the fate of contaminants and flushing of the lagoon, as well as the long-term survival of the lagoon as a marine system.   This talk will consider the impacts of strategies for coping with sea level rise on the lagoon and the city of Venice. 

Wading in Venice's flooded Piazza San Marco

Summary of a lecture on Venice by Prof. Cochran at Yale

Scientists Debate Wisdom Of Plan To Save Venice From Flooding

Plan to save Venice from the sea draws praise, doubts

Venice's long war with rising water


Why are there so many different kinds of 
igneous rocks?

Hanna Nekvasil
Department of Geosciences

7:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Friday March 28, 2003

The large variety of volcanic and plutonic igneous rocks at hotspots and continental rifts has been routinely attributed to compositionally heterogeneous mantle sources.  New studies of the compositional variations of the igneous rocks suggest that these different rock types may all be derived from common basalt magma.

Recent experimental work by Prof. Nekvasil and her students provides strong support for this by showing that magmas evolving from basalt during cooling and crystallization can vary dramatically in composition depending upon the depth of emplacement and water content of the magma. These results suggest that heterogeneities in the composition of the upper mantle could play a decidedly less important role in producing magmatic heterogeneity than commonly believed. 

In this presentation Prof. Nekvasil will pull together a variety of approaches from field work to experimental and computational simulations that have provided an exciting new perspective on the origin of a wide variety of igneous rocks.

Dr. Hanna Nekvasil is a Professor of Geochemistry in the Department of Geosciences at Stony Brook University and Research Associate at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.  Dr. Nekvasil received her Ph.D. at the Pennsylvania State University (1986) where she began her work on dissolved gases in magmas.  Dr. Nekvasil is an international expert on thermodynamics of silicate melts and experimental petrology of igneous rocks.  She has given over a dozen keynote addresses at international conferences and published a variety of papers that range from the application of quantum chemistry to the structure of silicate glass to the origin of granites and associated rocks.  She has also been very active in promoting women in science and was a founder of Stony Brook University's WISE (Women in Science and Engineering) Program that attracts high ability women who are interested in studying science and engineering. 

Ascension Island in the South Atlantic Ocean

Textures of Igneous Rocks
Worldwide and US Volcano Updates
How Volcanoes Work
Software for computational thermodynamics in petrology

Madagascar's Buried Treasure: 
New Discoveries of Dinosaurs and Other Fossils

Prof. David Krause
Anatomical Sciences

7:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Friday April 25, 2003

In 1993, Dr. Krause launched a reconnaissance expedition in search of
Cretaceous mammals, dinosaurs, and other vertebrate fossils to
Madagascar, a large island off the southeast coast of Africa that is
home to some of the most bizarre plants and animals on the planet. Not
in his wildest dreams did he anticipate the paleontological riches
that he and his colleagues would find on that expedition, as well as
on the five return trips since. Among the most significant finds are
a 70 million year old skeleton that provides a crucial missing link
between dinosaurs and birds, exquisitely preserved skulls and
skeletons of previously unknown plant- and meat-eating dinosaurs, and
a diverse array of crocodiles, some of them incredibly strange. Dr.
Krause will present spectacular slides of some of these exciting
discoveries, as well as of the local scenery, wildlife, and people. He
will highlight the scientific significance of his team's finds,
recount some of the extraordinary adventures involved in his field
work in Madagascar, and detail how his work led him and his colleagues
to build schools and temporary clinics for children living in remote
areas of the country. (Go to this link for the Madagascar Ankýzy Fund whose goal is to build schools and clinics in remote areas of Madagascar.)

Dr. David W. Krause is a Professor in the Department of Anatomical
Sciences at Stony Brook University, Research Associate of the Field
Museum of Natural History in Chicago, and Past President of the
Society of Vertebrate Paleontology. Born and raised on a remote ranch
in western Canada, Dr. Krause received his Bachelor's and Master's
degrees from the University of Alberta and his Ph.D. from the
University of Michigan (1982). Dr. Krause is a 30-year veteran of
field research in the the United States, Canada, Pakistan, India, and
Madagascar and has published over 135 research articles on fossil
vertebrates. Dr. Krause has been a leader in the battle to protect
fossil resources on Federal public lands from commercial exploitation.
His work has been the subject of considerable media attention,
including articles in National Geographic magazine, the New York
Times, Newsday, and various television specials on The Discovery
Channel and The Learning Channel.

Early Marsupial Found in Madagascar
Skeleton of New Dinosaur "Titan" Found in Madagascar
New Sickle-Clawed Fossil From Madagascar Links Birds And Dinosaurs
Mammal invasion 



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:

ě Three Geology Open Nights
Meets last Friday of month 

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

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

ě Three The Living World
Website for more information is:


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:
Conference on the Geology of Long Island and Metropolitan New York on April 12, 2003 and the
Long Island Geologists
field trip in June.

Information is available on the Long Island Geologists web site is:

A more printable description of in-service credit offerings 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?