The Department of Geosciences presents

Geology Open Night

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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

Friday January 30, 2004

Friday February 27, 2004
Friday March 26, 2004
Friday April 30, 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


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

 R. Lawrence Swanson

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

"Particle Fluxes in the Sea: Death, Decay and Defecation"

Cindy Lee

7:30 to 8:30 
Friday February 27, 2004



 "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.

"Particle Fluxes in the Sea: 
Death, Decay and Defecation"

Cindy Lee
Distinguished Professor
Marine Sciences Research Center

Particles in the ocean are composed of a myriad of organic and inorganic materials.  Marine organisms produce much of this material: the plants and animals in the sea produce organic matter as part of growth and reproduction; they can also produce inorganic calcium carbonate or silicate skeletons.  Many marine animals produce fecal pellets, a further major source of marine particles.  Other constituents of particulate matter include dust and river-borne material transported from land. When organisms die or are consumed, their remains sink out of the sunlit surface waters.  

This sinking of particulate material from surface to deeper waters is a major pathway for transporting carbon and other biologically active elements within the ocean.  Material exported from the surface waters leaves as large, fast-sinking particles, and in abyssal regions constitutes a source of food for deep-water and bottom-dwelling organisms.  A variety of biological, physical and chemical processes alter the organic composition of particles as they sink.  Most of the exported organic matter is remineralized to CO2 on its way to the sea floor, thus playing a major role in the global carbon cycle.   

After growing up in Arizona , Cindy Lee received her PhD in chemical oceanography in 1975 from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California in San Diego and then spent 11 years at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.  She has been on the faculty of Stony Brook University s Marine Sciences Research Center since 1986.  She has participated in many national and international research programs and has sailed all the Seven Seas.  

Her research is concerned with the distribution and behavior of biogenic organic compounds in the marine environment, and the role of these compounds in the global carbon cycle.  Understanding how organic compounds behave requires knowledge of the biological, geological, and physical processes in the sea.  

Most biogenic organic compounds are produced in surface waters by phytoplankton as a result of photosynthesis. These compounds can enter the marine food chain by acting as food for bacteria or zooplankton. Organic compounds can also be affected by chemical and physical processes such as adsorption, photochemical degradation, and transport by currents.  Dr. Lee is interested in organic compounds in all environments, particularly seawater, surface microlayer and sediments of open ocean and coastal areas.

The United States Joint Global Ocean Flux Study

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?