The Department of Geosciences presents

Geology Open Night

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Fall 2003 Offerings

Spring 2004 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

There is no Geology Open Night on Friday September 26!

Friday October 24, 2003
Friday November 21, 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, Spring 2003



Will be rescheduled for the Spring

What are the consequences of dredging in North Shore harbors?"

 R. Lawrence Swanson

7:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Friday September 26, 2003

"Journey to the Center of the Earth: A Mineral Physicist's Perspective"

Robert C. Liebermann

7:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Friday October 24, 2003

"Looking at Long Island Geology with Penetrating Eyes"

Daniel Davis

7:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Friday November 21, 2003




"What are the consequences of dredging in North Shore harbors?"

R. Lawrence Swanson
Waste Reduction and Management Institute
Marine Sciences Research Center


Stony Brook Harbor is arguably the least altered of the North Shore pocket bays.  However, there is continuing pressure to extend and deepen navigational channels and to expand marina capacity.  Examples of such changes include deepening existing channels, opening new channels, and transforming the mouth of the harbor to pre-1965 conditions.  High resolution numerical modeling demonstrates that even small physical changes in the shape of the harbor, particularly in the mouth, can alter tidal heights, tidal currents, flushing characteristics, and sediment transport.  These changes will very likely have significant ecological consequences such as to alter wetlands, extend mud flats, and modify the types of fish and other creatures that presently inhabit this system.  

Larry Swanson is Director of the Waste Reduction and Management Institute (WRMI) of the Marine Sciences Research Center , Stony Brook University .  WRMI has responsibility for implementing activities relative to waste management research, assessment, education, policy analysis and public service.  Larry received his B.S. in Civil Engineering from Lehigh University; his M.S. and Ph.D. in Physical Oceanography from Oregon State University.  He was a Senior Executive Fellow at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.  Prior to his appointment at SUNY, he was with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and served in a variety of capacities including Project Manager of the Marine Ecosystems Analysis Program for the New York Bight; Director of the Office of Marine Pollution Assessment; and the Executive Director of the Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research.  

Dr. Swanson has worked on numerous marine environmental crises and is currently involved in projects dealing with understanding of physical processes in Long Island Sound, designing and implementing marine monitoring programs, and understanding the consequences of anthropogenic alterations in a couple of Long Island north-shore harbors.

"Journey to the Center of the Earth: 
A Mineral Physicist's Perspective"

Robert C. Liebermann

Distinguished Service Professor
Department of Geosciences

7:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Friday October 24, 2003

As they travel through the Earth, earthquake waves provide important clues to the behavior of minerals and rocks at great depth. Mineral physics experiments at high pressures and temperatures provide the code to unravel these clues and to arrive at a 3-D picture of the chemical composition and mineralogy of these regions. In addition, these experiments provide information on the fate of minerals as they are subducted back inside the Earth as part of the plate tectonics process


"Looking at Long Island Geology 
Penetrating Eyes"

Daniel Davis
Department of Geosciences

7:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Friday November 21, 2003

Only a short distance below our feet, the subsurface of Long Island contains a rich variety of geological and anthropogenic features that can be revealed and studied using the tools of geophysics. Electrical sounding methods, including resistivity array surveys, allow the mapping of sediment layers, groundwater, and subsurface tunnels, all of which conduct electric currents to differing degrees. Ground-penetrating radar makes it possible to "see" buried objects the size of a baseball and some sediment layers only a fraction of an inch thick in the top few meters and it allows us to image larger objects and ground water to depths of around a hundred feet. Magnetic methods make it possible to detect thin pipes in the top few feet of the subsurface or volcanic flows and dikes up to thousands of feet deep, beneath Long Island's thick sediment cover. Such studies shed light on Long Island's history from the rifting that accompanied the formation of the Atlantic Ocean to the sedimentary record of the last ice and the time of glacial retreat, to recent and present-day geologic and human history on our island.



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 Fall 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
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:
Long Island Geologists field trip in Fall

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?