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Stony Brook University

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Barbara Chapman on the side of a pyramid during her trip to Egypt. Photo from Chapman

If the smartest people in the world gathered in a room, they might struggle to collaborate. An Australian astrophysicist might have a different way of solving problems from the Spanish sociologist. That doesn’t even address language barriers.

Similar principles hold true for the world’s best super computers. While each may have an ability to perform numerous calculations, gather information, and extrapolate from patterns too complicated to discover with a pencil and paper, they can be limited in their ability to work together efficiently.

That’s where a leader in the field of parallel computing comes in. Barbara Chapman, who has been at the University of Houston since 1999, has taught rising stars in the field, written textbooks and enabled the combination of supercomputers to become more than the proverbial sum of their parts.

And, this week, she is bringing her talents to Long Island, where she’s starting the next step in her career as a professor of Applied Math and Statistics, and Computer Science at Stony Brook, as part of the Institute for Advanced Computational Science and as an affiliate at Brookhaven National Laboratory.

Calling Chapman a “pioneer in the world of parallel computing,” Sunita Chandrasekaran, who was a post-doctoral researcher in Chapman’s lab, predicted Chapman would “attract top graduate students from across the globe. Many students would love to do research under Chapman’s supervision.”

Lei Huang, an assistant professor in the computer science department at Prairie View A&M University in Texas, considers Chapman his “mentor,” and said she is “always patient with students,” making her a “valuable asset” to Stony Brook. Huang, who did his Ph.D. and worked as a post doc in Chapman’s lab, added that she proposed and implemented innovative language features to improve performance and productivity of programming on supercomputers.

Chapman, who grew up in New Zealand, said she left the more temperate region of Houston driven, in part, by the intelligence and personality of Robert J. Harrison, Stony Brook’s director for the Institute for Advanced Computational Science. Additionally, Chapman sees opportunities to work with local collaborators.

Chapman works to make it easier for scientists and other users to get computers to solve their problems and gain insights from massive amounts of data. She strives to get high-powered computers to work together efficiently.

Scientists need to give computers a way of telling the cores how to interact and collaborate. Dividing up the work and ensuring that these computers share data are among the challenges of her role.

The new Stony Brook scientist helped develop OpenMP, which can be used to program multicores and is an industry standard used in cell phones, among other things.

President Obama unveiled plans to build an exascale computer, which might be capable of performing a billion billion operations per second. Building this computer will have numerous challenges, including hardware, power, memory, data movement, resilience and programming.

Chandrasekaran, who recently joined the University of Delaware as an assistant professor, said software programming needs to be more intuitive, portable across platforms and adaptable without any compromise in performance. Chapman, she said, is a leader in these fields, bringing together national laboratories, vendors and academia.

As a part of a group of researchers asked to identify opportunities for collaborations between the United States and Egypt, Chapman also journeyed to Egypt. While it was a “wonderful experience,” Chapman said the efforts were put on hold indefinitely after the revolution.

Applications that exploit supercomputers range from astrophysics to the automotive industry to analyzing old texts, to determine if the works of classical scholars were written or translated by the same person, Chapman said.

Chapman and her colleagues work to design features to support the next generation of computers. In the next few years, Chapman expects computers to have more complex memory, while the cores will be more heterogeneous.

At the same time, hardware manufacturers are focused on green computing, enabling the same computing power while using less energy.

Chapman enjoys working in an academic setting, where she can inspire the next generation of computer scientists. She will start teaching at Stony Brook in 2016.

While Chapman’s work centers around helping computers get the most from their collaborations, she also believes the workforce would benefit from attracting, training and supporting people from a broader range of backgrounds, including African-Americans, Hispanics, and women.

“If we had a much more diverse group of people, how would our use of computers change?” she asks. “Would we find other uses of computers?”

Chapman is encouraged that her concern about diversity is a matter numerous people in Washington are discussing. “I chaired a small study on this last year for the Department of Energy,” she said. “There’s a lot of buy-in to the notion that it’s important to change that.”

Chapman said an early experience working with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration ignited her interest in computer science. She worked with people who were exploring what happens when a spacecraft re-enters Earth’s atmosphere. They were designing materials that are better able to withstand the heat and speed of returning to Earth.

“People can use machines for finding out what’s going on in the universe in the big picture,” she said. “That got me hooked.”

This version corrects the title of Sunita Chandrasekaran.

Bill would limit cars allowed per bedroom

Supervisor Ed Romaine listens to resident concerns at the town meeting. Photo by Giselle Barkley

It’s a battle between the town and landlords as officials and concerned homeowners keep trying to combat illegal housing.

A proposed Brookhaven Town law aims to prevent overcrowding in rental homes by limiting the number of allowed tenants to four unrelated people — half as many as currently permitted — and restricting the number of permitted vehicles at a rental house to one car per legal bedroom plus one additional car. At a four-bedroom rental house, that translates to five allowed vehicles.

The proposal is the most recent in a string of initiatives to prevent illegal house rentals, including a measure that outlawed paving over front yards to make additional space to park cars.

“That’s how bad it was,” Supervisor Ed Romaine (R) said during last week’s Brookhaven Town Board meeting.

The housing issue came to the forefront a few years ago with the help of Bruce Sander, the president of Stony Brook Concerned Homeowners. In Three Village and neighboring areas like Port Jefferson and Middle Country, residents have spoken against illegal and often overcrowded rental homes that are filled with Stony Brook University students, citing quality of life issues such as noise and overflowing trash.

Romaine said the rules detailed in the proposed law would make it easier for the town to identify rental homes that house more people than legally allowed.

“There are a number of people who have taken over foreclosed houses for sale with four bedrooms,” Romaine said. “They’ve carved it up and put around eight to 10 students in them.”

Sander said students aren’t the issue — landlords are.

“The law department and town investigators are on top of this all the time because the landlord never obeys the laws,” Sander said in an interview, referring to landlords who rent houses to more tenants than legally allowed. “It’s just the nature of the beast; it’s just what they do.”

Sander helped found Stony Brook Concerned Homeowners around three years ago, after he moved to Stony Brook and identified two illegal boarding houses across the street from him. As the boarding houses became disruptive, residents in the area became concerned.

“I saw the value of my house and the value of my property just go down the tank.”

Tracking the number of people living in one rental home has been difficult for the town, but officials hope counting cars will make the process easier. The town’s overall goal is to provide legal housing for students without disrupting their neighbors.

“Stony Brook is a middle to upper-middle income,” Romaine said. “People moving in with their kids expect a certain quality of life.”

One member of the concerned homeowners group said at the town board meeting that he would like the town to focus on property upkeep as well.

“We’d like [the homes] to stay at a level of cleanliness and order that the community has around [the home],” the man said.

While rental housing and landlord issues are not as bad as they once were, Sander said there is more to be done.

“We still have a lot of work to do; these houses are in disrepair,” Sander said during the board meeting. “Some of these landlords just believe that they’re immune and that our group is going to go away. Well no, we’re growing. We have 1,400 to 1,500 homeowners that are standing strong against these illegal houses.”

The public hearing on the latest proposed law is set for Thursday, Oct. 1, at 6:30 p.m. at Town Hall in Farmingville.

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Professor Allen Tannenbaum. Photo from Stony Brook University

It’s a dangerous enemy that often turns deadly. Worse than its potentially lethal nature, however, cancer has an ability to work around any roadblocks scientists and doctors put in its path, rendering some solutions that bring hope ineffective.

Researchers around the world are eagerly searching for ways to stay one, two or three moves ahead of cancer, anticipating how the many forms of this disease take medicine’s best shot and then go back to the business of jeopardizing human health.

Allen Tannenbaum, a professor of computer science and applied mathematics and statistics at Stony Brook University, has added a field called graph theory to some of the tools he knows well from his work in medical imaging and computer vision.

A normal, healthy cell is like a factory, with genes sending signals through proteins, enzymes and catalysts, moving reactions forward or stopping them, and the genetic machinery indicating when and how hard the parts should work.

Cancer, however, is like a hostile takeover of that factory, producing the factory equivalent of M16s that damage the cell and the individual instead of baby toys, Tannebaum suggested.

By analyzing how proteins or transcription networks interact, Tannenbaum and his colleagues can develop a model for the so-called curvature of interactions.

Looking at the interactions among parts of the genetic factory, Tannenbaum can determine and quantify the parts of the cell that are following cancer commands, rather than doing their original task.

Curvature isn’t so much a bending of a physical space as it is a change in the way the different proteins or transcription factors function in the discrete networks Tannenbaum uses in cancer and biology.

“The parts are not doing their job the same way,” Tannenbaum said. “We can look and see graphically how different things compare.” He and his collaborators recently published their findings in the journal Scientific Reports.

Using mathematical formulas to define a range of interactions, Tannenbaum can determine how quickly a cancer or normal cell can return to its original state after a disturbance. This ability is called its robustness.

The study “brings to light a new way to understand and quantify the ability of cancer cells to adapt and develop resistance,” explained Tryphon T. Georgiou, a professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Minnesota, who has known Tannenbaum for over 30 years and collaborated on this study. “It also provides ways to identify potential targets for
drug development.”

Tannenbaum studied cells from six different tumor types and supplemented the study with networks that contain about 500 cancer-related genes from the Cosmic Cancer Gene Census.

In treatments for cancers, including sarcomas, researchers and doctors sometimes try to pull the plug on cancer’s energy network. This method can slow cancer down, but cancer often resumes its harmful operations.

Using models of cancer on a computer, Tannenbaum and the five graduate students and four postdoctoral fellows can run virtual experiments. He can hand off his results to biologists, who can then run tests. Once those scientists collect data, they can offer information back to Tannenbaum.

“This is a team effort,” said Tannenbaum, who works with scientists at Memorial Sloan Kettering, the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Georgiou described Tannenbaum as a “brilliant scholar” and a “mathematician with unparalleled creativity,” who has been a “pioneer in many fields,” including computer vision. Indeed, a computer vision program could assist nurses in the intensive care unit on different shifts assess the level of pain from someone who might not otherwise be able to communicate it.

Georgiou called Tannenbaum’s work on cancer a “mission” and said Tannenbaum is “absolutely determined to use his remarkable skills as a mathematician and as a scientist” to defeat it.

Tannenbaum, who recently took his grandchild to a Mets win at CitiField, said coming to Stony Brook in 2013 was a homecoming, bringing him closer to his native Queens. He cited two famous graduates from Far Rockaway High School: the physicist Richard Feynman, who helped develop the atomic bomb, and Bernie Madoff.

He and his wife Rina, who is a professor in materials science and engineering at Stony Brook, live in Long Island City.

Tannenbaum hopes to continue to build on his work applying math to solving cancer.

“There’s a lot of mathematical play left and then testing the predictions in a biological/medical setting,” he said.

Tommy the chimp looks through his cage upstate. Photo from Nonhuman Rights Project

The two chimpanzees housed at Stony Brook University will not be granted the personhood necessary to allow them to challenge their captivity, a state Supreme Court judge ruled in an animal rights advocacy group’s lawsuit against the school.

Justice Barbara Jaffe ruled in her July 30 decision that Hercules and Leo, the two male chimps used for research at Stony Brook University’s Department of Anatomical Sciences, would not be granted a “writ of habeas corpus,” as petitioned for in the Nonhuman Rights Project’s suit against the university. The animal rights group had petitioned the judge with hopes of forcing the university to move the chimps to the Florida-based Save the Chimps animal sanctuary.

“The similarities between chimpanzees and humans inspire the empathy felt for a beloved pet,” Jaffe said in her decision. “Efforts to extend legal rights to chimpanzees are thus understandable; someday they may even succeed. For now, however, given the precedent to which I am bound it is hereby ordered that the petition for a writ of habeas corpus is denied.”

Jaffe cited previous suits the Nonhuman Rights Project had headed up, including one referencing a chimpanzee named Tommy who was being held through Circle L Trailers in Gloversville, NY. In that case, the Fulton County Supreme Court dismissed the Nonhuman Rights Project’s appeal to have the chimp released.

Steven Wise, president of the Nonhuman Rights Project, said his group was still looking forward to appealing Jaffe’s decision to the state Supreme Court’s Appellate Division’s first judicial department.

“Unlike Justice Jaffe, [the first judicial department] is not bound by the decision of the Third Department in Tommy’s case,” Wise said in a statement.

Despite the judge’s ruling, Susan Larson, an anatomical sciences professor at SBU, previously said both Hercules and Leo will retire from the facility’s research center and be gone by September. Larson did not return requests for comment.

The Nonhuman Rights Project, however, said it would work to ensure the chimps are released to a sanctuary nevertheless.

“We applaud Stony Brook for finally doing the right thing,” Lauren Choplin of the Nonhuman Rights Project wrote on the group’s website. “We have made it clear that we remain willing to assist Stony Brook in sending Hercules and Leo to Save the Chimps in Ft. Pierce, Florida, where we have arranged for them to be transferred, or to have an appropriate member sanctuary of the North American Primate Sanctuary Alliance, as we did in Tommy’s case. We have made it equally clear that, if Stony Brook attempts to move Hercules and Leo to any other place, we will immediately seek a preliminary injunction to prevent this move pending the outcome of all appeals, as we succeeded in doing in Tommy’s case last year.”

New Iberia Research Center in Louisiana owns the chimps, and their next destination was not clear.

The court first ordered the school to show cause and writ of habeas corpus — a command to produce the captive person and justify their detention — but struck out the latter on April 21, one day after releasing the initial order, making it a more administrative move simply prompting the university to defend why it detains the animals.

In an earlier press release from 2013, the Nonhuman Rights Project said the chimpanzee plaintiffs are “self-aware” and “autonomous” and therefore should have the same rights as humans. Hercules and Leo are currently being used in a locomotion research experiment in SBU’s Department of Anatomical Sciences.

University launches geese control program to save Roth

A homemade vessel makes its away across Roth Pond in May. Photo by Phil Corso

An on-campus pond at Stony Brook University has been deemed unsafe, according to a report from the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

The state DEC reported that Roth Pond, a roughly 200-yard body of water in the center of a Stony Brook University residential housing complex, had an excessive amount of cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae. It was listed as one of seven locations in the state known to pose the risk of harming anyone who might swim or wade within it, the state said.

“Cyanobacteria are naturally present in lakes and streams in low numbers,” the state DEC said in a statement. “However, they can become abundant, forming blooms in shades of green, blue-green, yellow, brown or red. They may produce floating scums on the surface of the water, or may cause the water to take on paint-like appearance.”

A spokeswoman for Stony Brook University said the campus’s Environmental Health and Safety Department posted blue-green algae bloom advisory signs in several locations around Roth Pond, as recommended by the state Department of Health. She said the university has already taken preventative measures to reduce and eliminate the algae, including diverting runoff, installing fountains to aerate water and implementing a geese control program.

“Roth Pond, a man-made pond, is not used for bathing or swimming,” the SBU spokeswoman said. “Blue-green algae, technically known as cyanobacteria, are naturally present in lakes and streams. There are many environmental conditions that may trigger algae bloom, including nutrient loading, sunlight, calm water and warm temperatures.”

The news of the health risk came just months after the university’s annual coveted Roth Pond Regatta, which tasks students with launching makeshift vessels across the pond to blow off steam during finals week. This year’s event set sail on May 1.

School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences Professor Christopher Gobbler is an expert on blue-green algae blooms and has been working with the university’s Environmental Health and Safety Department to test the water and formulate a plan for dealing with the algae bloom, the spokeswoman said.

The state said anyone who comes in contact with the water would in turn open themselves up to the possibility of nausea, vomiting or diarrhea, skin, eye or throat irritation or allergic reactions or breathing difficulties. In order to avoid such risks, the state DEC advised that anyone who comes in contact with water that appears scummy or discolored should rinse off with clean water immediately and seek medical attention.

Other areas that were also pegged for excessive amounts of blue-green algae included McKay Lake in Calverton, Fort Pond in Montauk, Kellis Pond in Bridgehampton, Wainscott Pond in Wainscott, Agawam Lake and Mill Pond in Southampton and Marratooka Lake in Mattituck.

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Kristen Fraas leaps over the hurdle for Ward Melville. Photo from Fraas

Athletes use different things for motivation. Some are fueled by a desire to be the best. Some are highly competitive. Some are driven by the fear of letting down their teammates. In a sport like track and field, where the main competitor is the clock as much as the opponent, it can be difficult to maintain a competitive edge. But Kirsten Fraas never had an issue with staying intrinsically motivated during her outstanding career with the Ward Melville track and field team.

“What got me out of my bed was the fear of disappointing my coaches,” Fraas said. “I always wanted to do my best because what’s the point of me going to practice if I wasn’t going to put my whole heart into it? I also wanted to be there for my team. I didn’t want to let any of them down, either. I got myself out of bed to be the best I could be and to be consistent for my team.”

Fraas’ former and future coaches said the track and field competitor has a relentless work ethic.

“She has an amazing work ethic,” Ward Melville junior varsity head coach J.P. Dion said. “She came to practice every day ready to work and gave 100 percent every day.”

Fraas was a key member of a team that won back-to-back League 1 championships. She was highly decorated in her four-year varsity career, winning awards for being a scholar athlete and a tri-sport athlete, and she also won the Gold Key award, which is given to athletes who letter in at least eight of the nine seasons between grades 10 and 12.

“Kirsten is highly motivated and she’s a hard worker,” Stony Brook track and field assistant coach Howard Powell said of Fraas, shedding light on what made her an attractive recruit for their program. “I’m hoping that she can bring some of her strong work ethic to our team. I’m looking forward to working with her over the next couple of years.”

Fraas competed in multiple events during high school, including 100 and 400-meter hurdles, the 400 run, and the 4×4 relay. Fraas said the 4×4 was her favorite event. Powell mentioned plans to use Fraas in a variety of different events during her time at Stony Brook.

“I think that the thing I’ll miss most is my team,” Fraas said, reflecting on her time at Ward Melville. “We’re all very close knit and we’ve spent so much time together that we’ve become a family, so it’s [going to] be difficult leaving that part of my life behind.”

Dion reflected on the mark his now former runner left on the highly successful program.

She is a great kid,” he said. “Thanks to her leadership skills, she helped make our jobs as coaches easy. She is a very talented athlete and I wish her the best at Stony Brook.”

Fraas credited her family as being a strong support system.

“It means a lot to me that they’ve invested so much of their time into my success,” she said. “I honestly wouldn’t be where I am without them.”

Daniel Madigan with a yellowfin tuna. Photo by Maile Madigan

When Daniel Madigan is out working, he sometimes has no access to a computer, an iPhone or email and that’s just fine by him. Instead of searching for parking spaces, waiting for traffic lights and standing in line at a grocery store, he rocks back and forth on the ocean, seeking answers to questions deep below the surface.

An NSF postdoctoral fellow at the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences at Stony Brook University, Madigan said the typical month he has spent over the last four years on the Pacific Ocean has given him a “sense that this is where I want to be. You see something you’ve never seen before, every time.”

He’s watched a killer whale feeding on tuna and has witnessed a school of yellowtail jack beating with their tails on a blue shark. Fin whales, killer whales and blue whales have dotted the landscape on his research trips.

Recently, Madigan completed work on a study of tuna. Knowing that the bluefin tuna has a metabolism that enables it to remain warmer in colder waters than the albacore and yellowfin tuna, Madigan explored whether the bluefin’s greater range gave it a more varied diet.

It turns out that the bluefin is more selective than its more temperature-limited tuna cousins. “We expected a broader habitat use would lead to more access to more food,” Madigan said. “That would be a straightforward benefit to the expansion they get” from being warm-bodied.

In a way, this finding also “makes sense,” he said, because fish that can “access more space can also pick the best thing to specialize in.” The bluefin can not only dive deeper but it can also travel further north to colder waters.

Bluefin tuna face considerable competition for sardines, a primary food source. Humans also consume this fish, and it is a staple of aquaculture-raised fish. Competition for sardines leads to questions about ecosystem-based management.

“When people form policies, they want to know things like, ‘If we limit the sardines in the ocean, how many metric tons of bluefin tuna will that save us?” Madigan asked. “If you can’t give those answers, it becomes more difficult to make concrete estimates.”

At this point, Madigan and other scientists are still in the recognition rather than the implementation stage, which means researchers are developing a greater awareness of the dynamic between the preferred foods for bluefin and measures such as the fish’s fertility and growth rates.

To be sure, Madigan said the population of these warmer-bodied tuna were unlikely to go into deep decline amid a drop in the number of sardines because the bluefin can feed on whatever is abundant to survive.

Still, understanding the life history of these fish with different habitat ranges can enable scientists and policy makers to recognize the complexity of interactions in the marine ecosystem, as well as any possible effect of fisheries policies.

Sardines, anchovy and herring are considered forage fish, which are used in aquaculture and are also popular with sharks, seabirds and marine mammals.

To track the fish in the study, Madigan and his colleagues collected all three types of tuna, put tags on them, sent them back in the ocean and retrieved and downloaded the information from the tags.

Heidi Dewar, a fisheries research biologist at NOAA’s Southwest Fisheries Science Center in California who has worked with Madigan for six years, described her colleague as an “innovator.” She praised Madigan’s work with chemical tracers to understand large-scale migrations. Madigan has used the nuclear accident in Fukushima, Japan, to quantify the migration of bluefin tuna from west to east. His work can have a “long-term application,” she added.

Dewar agreed that working on and in the ocean provides opportunities to make new discoveries. “There is nothing like getting up close and personal with sharks, giant bluefin tuna, manta rays or opah,” Dewar described. “Unlocking the mysteries of their various adaptations either using electronic tags or by examining their physiology and morphology makes me feel like an early explorer mapping new territory.”

Madigan, who grew up in Garden City, lives in Port Jefferson with his wife Maile, who is a school administrator for a charter school in Riverhead.

Madigan said the broader goal for his research is that “these animals will still be here in 100, 200 years” and will be in “even greater numbers and surviving to even greater sizes.”

Beyond-Words-Jacket-wThe Bates House, 1 Bates Road, Setauket, will host a reading and book signing by Carl Safina on Thursday, Aug. 6, at 7 p.m. Named one of 100 Notable Conservationists of the 20th Century, Safina has authored seven books including “Song for the Blue Ocean,” which was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, “Eye of the Albatross,” “Voyage of the Turtle” and “The View from Lazy Point.”

Safina is founding president of The Safina Center at Stony Brook University, where he also co-chairs the university’s Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science. Winner of the 2012 Orion Award and a MacArthur Prize, his work has been featured in National Geographic, The New York Times, CNN.com, The Huffington Post and Times Beacon Record Newspapers.

On Aug. 6, Safina will speak about and sign copies of his latest nonfiction landmark book, “Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel,” sharing some astonishing new discoveries about the similarities between humans and animals. There will also be a Q-and-A.

Carl Safina. File photo from SBU
Carl Safina. File photo from SBU

Discover Magazine said the book is “a beautifully written, provocative case for seeing animals through their eyes,” and Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, author of “The Hidden Life of Dogs” said “‘Beyond Words’ is a must-read. Animals think, mourn, dream, make plans, and communicate complex messages in much the same way that we do. Readers who knew this already will rejoice, others will learn the truth and the more of us who capture the message, the sooner we will change the world.”

Don’t miss this special event. For more information, please call 631-632-3763 or visit www.carlsafina.org.

Stony Brook University international students at a potluck supper hosted by the Colatosti family of Setauket. Photo from Susan Colatosti

Soon, hundreds of international students will be arriving at Stony Brook University to begin their academic careers in search of advanced degrees. For most, it will be their first time in the United States. They have no family or friends here, and are in a completely foreign and unfamiliar environment.

The Host Family Program, a community-based organization now in its fourth decade, provides a newly arrived international student with the friendship of a local American family.

It is run by volunteers, with the cooperation of the university, and has been directed by Rhona Goldman since 1974. It is not a home-stay program; students live on or near campus. Host families invite students to share a meal, some sightseeing, or a favorite activity.

Both students and host families can have the enriching experience of a cultural exchange and gain perspective about the world. A host family may be a retired couple, a family group, or a single individual. The only prerequisite is the desire to make an international student feel comfortable in a new setting.

Students are arriving on campus in late August for the start of the fall semester and are looking forward to meeting an American family. The university will host a reception for the students and the host families to meet each other before the semester begins.

There is always a shortage of local volunteers to host all the students who sign up for the program.
If you would like to find out more about the program, email Rhona Goldman at: sbuhostfamilies@gmail.com.

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Photo from SBU

By Greg Monaco

Stony Brook University’s Seawolves may sport the color red, but our campus is getting “greener” every day.

The University is devoted to creating a more environmentally friendly campus by learning and implementing new sustainable practices, a mission sparked in 2007, when Stony Brook signed the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment. Since then, they’ve made major strides by improving transportation, planting and energy-usage efforts.

These efforts put Stony Brook University on The Princeton Review’s Green Honor Roll, a recognition given to only 24 schools. The Princeton Review also ranked Stony Brook No. 4 in its “Top 50 Green Colleges of 2015,” making this the sixth consecutive year The Princeton Review recognized the University.

In April 2013, the University unveiled its state-of-the-art SBU Wolf Ride Bike Share system to provide a zero-emission commuting option on campus. Originally consisting of four solar-powered stations and 48 bicycles, the program has grown to eight stations and 63 bikes, and students have enjoyed more than 14,000 rides.

To encourage the use of alternatively fueled vehicles, the University installed 10 electric vehicle charging stations on campus. To date, more than 700 cars have been charged with a total output of 2.596 MW.

The National Arbor Day Foundation named Stony Brook University a Tree Campus USA recipient in 2013 and 2014, recognizing our dedication to campus forestry management and environmental stewardship. The University boasts a robust planting program, designed to beautify the campus and engage students, faculty and staff in learning sustainable planting techniques during the Office of Sustainability’s hands-on Growing Red Days.

The University is committed to reducing its energy usage by undergoing a large, interior-lighting retrofit, encompassing more than 35 academic buildings. The project as a whole will replace more than 55,000 interior light fixtures with new energy-efficient lamps.

With the help of students, faculty and staff, Stony Brook University will continue to develop a more eco-friendly environment, serving an ongoing goal of securing a sustainable future for the university campus, the community and the world.

Greg Monaco is the Sustainability Coordinator at Stony Brook University.

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