The Department of Geosciences presents

Geology Open Night

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Fall 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

Friday October 22, 2004

Friday November 19, 2004
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, Fall 2003Spring 2004


Prof. Scott McLennan

Discoveries by the Spirit and Opportunity Mars Exploration Rovers

7:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Friday October 22, 2004

Prof. Richard Reeder

The Fate of Radionuclides in
Underground Storage Facilities

7:30 to 8:30 
Friday November 19, 2004


Discoveries by the 
Spirit and Opportunity 
Mars Exploration Rovers


Prof. Scott McLennan

7:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Friday October 22, 2004

As of August 2004, the twin Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity have completed roughly 8 months of operations at two locations on the Martian surface.  Both rovers have performed well past their original design specifications and have sent back a wealth of new information about Mars’ unique geologic history.  The Spirit rover landed in Gusev Crater on January 3rd, 2004, and has since traveled over 3 kilometers (1.86 miles) from her landing site to a set of low hills within Gusev Crater called the “Columbia Hills”.By all outward appearances, the Gusev Crater has been a dry, cold, desert environment for quite some time, but Spirit’s latest observations in the Columbia Hills are revealing tantalizing clues to a geologic past that may have involved liquid water.

 On the other side of the planet, the Opportunity rover has been exploring the unique geology of Meridiani Planum since January 24th, 2004 .  After scoring an “interplanetary hole-in-one” by landing inside of a small crater dubbed “Eagle”, Opportunity has found evidence that the area she landed in once contained salty water, which has since evaporated away, leaving behind layered rock deposits composed in large part by sulfate salts and hematite “blueberries”.  The coldest, darkest days of the Martian winter will pass in mid-September, and as the rovers look forward to springtime operations, so to will we look forward to many new exciting discoveries by these rugged and highly capable robotic geologists.

Link to Mars Exploration Rovers web site.

The Fate of Radionuclides
in Underground Storage Facilities

Prof. Richard Reeder

7:30 to 8:30 
Friday November 19, 2004

One of today’s greatest challenges is the storage of radioactive waste in a manner that will pose little or no risk to future inhabitants of Earth.  Materials derived from the production of nuclear power and nuclear weapons are likely to be stored in specially engineered underground repositories.  Because radionuclides have the potential to pose health threats for thousands to hundreds of thousand years, special consideration must be given to the consequences of possible leakage of radionuclides in the subsurface environment. 

Processes involving subsurface water and transport of dissolved radionuclides are considered to be the most important for evaluating the long-term viability of planned storage facilities. Among the principal processes that can limit the mobility of dissolved radionuclides is their interaction with minerals present in the host rocks.  Laboratory experiments simulating radionuclide-mineral interactions as well as studies of sites contaminated with radionuclides offer critical insight regarding the effectiveness of natural and engineered materials as barriers for radionuclide transport.

 Professor Reeder is a member of the Department of Geoscience and Director of the Center for Environmental Molecular Science at Stony Brook. A major goal of his research is to understand the role that mineral surfaces play in growth, dissolution, and the uptake of dissolved metals, including radionuclides.  His recent research projects include studies relating to leakages of uranium wastes at the Hanford Site in South-central Washington and simulated releases of uranium and neptunium in Yucca Mtn. host rocks. 




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:

Two Geology Open Nights
Usually meets fourth or 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 up to 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?