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Press Release

Stony Brook Southampton Celebrates Opening of State-Of-The-Art Marine Science Center

Sep 27, 2013 - 3:15:14 PM

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From Left to Right: Stony Brook Council Chair Kevin Law, Sr. Vice President for Administration Barbara Chernow, SoMAS Dean Minghua Zhang, President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., MD, New York State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle, Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr., Sr. Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dennis N. Assanis.
SOUTHAMPTON, NY, September 27, 2013
– The Southampton Campus of Stony Brook University today celebrated the opening of its spectacular new state-of-the-art LEED-certified Marine Sciences Center for the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences (SoMAS).

At a ceremony held at the Stony Brook Southampton Campus, President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., MD, Provost and Sr. Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dennis N. Assanis, Sr. Vice President for Administration Barbara Chernow, and SoMAS Dean Minghua Zhang were joined by New York State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle, Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr., Stony Brook Council Chair Kevin Law to cut the ribbon and take a guided tour the new research and teaching facility. 

The new 15,000-square-foot Marine Sciences Center, made possible through $6.9 million secured in the NYS budget by Senator LaValle and Assemblyman Thiele, supports the growth of the SoMAS undergraduate marine science and environmental science programs, and plays an important role in their ability to perform groundbreaking research into a variety of issues facing marine estuaries on Long Island and around the world.

The Marine Sciences Center replaced three small existing buildings and is home to a high-tech 2,500-square-foot Sea Water Lab with a computerized circulation system including four different temperature lines, as well as recirculation capabilities and quarantine and culture rooms. A titanium heat exchanger preheats or precools incoming sea water for substantial operational energy savings, and reduces the overall size of required heating and cooling equipment.

The Center also includes two wet labs, an analytical lab, classrooms, a conference room and other lab and support spaces, including an outdoor tank area that will expands the lab resources outside of the building. The facility will serve as a hub for public lectures and summer educational programs, with a large lobby/gathering room to support these public outreach programs.

Construction includes sustainable design features utilizing material that is sensitive both to experiments and the coastal marine environment, including energy recovery of ventilation air, daylighting of all normally occupied spaces, a low-static pressure ductwork system, high-efficiency lighting and a super-insulated exterior wall assembly.

At the ceremony, Dr. Stanley expressed gratitude to Senator LaValle and Assemblyman Thiele for their efforts in securing the funds to help make this project a reality.

“The new Marine Sciences Center will play a key role in augmenting SoMAS’ ability to perform groundbreaking studies in a variety of issues facing Long Island and the world today,” said President Stanley. “It will also enable us to offer more classes with rich experiential components.  There will be cutting-edge research with important implications for Long Island’s coastal ecosystems, including studies of harmful algal blooms, shellfish, eelgrass, fisheries, ocean acidification and aquaculture.

“This new Center will solidify Stony Brook’s reputation as the strongest undergraduate marine sciences program on the east coast and one of the best in the United States.”

“Now in addition to the Stony Brook campus, Southampton will be pivotal in the economic development of Long Island and will help to advance Start-Up NY particularly on the east end of Long Island,” said Senator LaValle during his remarks at the ribbon cutting. “I am confident that research done here over time will help resolve the problems we face on our waters, and hopefully put an end to our hearing about brown tide and algae blooms on our waterways.”

“This new Marine Science Center is another step forward for the Southampton Campus of Stony Brook University,” said Assemblyman Thiele at the ceremony. “We’ve seen a lot of steps forward; from the growth of Southampton Arts, Semester by the Sea, residential students living here and our continued discussions that will eventually yield in the move of Southampton Hospital to the Southampton Campus. It is great to see so much progress here.”

The new two-story facility will enable SoMAS to offer more classes with rich experiential components such as Marine Biology, Marine Mammals, Ichthyology, Physical Oceanography and more, all of which will be taught at the new Marine Sciences Center. Currently SoMAS is ranked sixth in the United States among marine and atmospheric sciences graduate programs, according to the National Research Council.

About the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences at Stony Brook University

There are more than 500 undergraduate students, 150 graduate students and 90 faculty and staff from 16 different nations working together at SoMAS to better understand how marine, terrestrial and atmospheric environments function and work in relation to one another. At Stony Brook Southampton, students can take courses that explore the natural flora, fauna and habitats of Long Island’s east end. SoMAS faculty and graduate students are engaged in cutting-edge research with important implications for Long Island’s coastal ecosystems, including studies of harmful algal blooms, shellfish, eelgrass, fisheries, ocean acidification, climate change and aquaculture. SoMAS locations allow students and faculty the opportunity to explore and study a variety of habitats ranging from the open ocean to the largest metropolitan area in the United States, and to tap into resources at the nearby National Weather Service and Brookhaven National Laboratory. SoMAS operates research and educational facilities at Stony Brook University, Stony Brook Southampton and the Flax Pond Marine Laboratory on the Long Island Sound.

Additional quotes
Kevin Law, Chair of the Stony Brook Council and President and CEO of the Long Island Association said: "Today is an important day for Stony Brook University. The Southampton Campus is becoming a cutting edge hub of higher education in the arts, marine sciences and soon, healthcare. It is great to be a part of this new growth."

Provost Assanis said, “The construction of the Marine Sciences Center and other initiatives such as the interdisciplinary faculty cluster hiring in Coastal Zone Management and Systems and Environmental Research, make Stony Brook a great training ground for the world’s future thought leaders: citizens who will promote policies and take actions in our communities to tackle the substantial environmental problems we face and it will lead the way in creating a sustainable future for our environment and for humanity.

SoMAS Dean, Minghua Zhang, thanked those who pledged private contributions including the Estate of Sam Swint which enabled the installation of a conference room; the Helen and Claus Hoie Foundation, which contributed five Claus Hoie watercolor paintings that are hanging in the second level hallway; and Jane Ross and the SoMAS Dean’s Council for its support

“I am extremely glad and grateful that we can now say that we have a state-of-the-art marine lab,” he said. “Our students can now do hands-on experiments with the biological and chemical compositions of sea water and study methods to experiment with external conditions to study the behaviors of phytoplankton, zooplankton and algal blooms.”


© Stony Brook University 2013

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