Besides using data from SoMAS’s research vessel Seawolf, other high resolution observations have been collected by students and faculty driving around the island with temperature and wind sensors. Students also maintain a polar orbiting satellite receiving stationin the weather maproom, from which observations are used to document the sea-surface temperature changes around Long Island and its effect on local weather. Stony Brook runs its own operational numerical weather forecast models (MM5 and WRF), and students use the model to make forecasts, participate in the national forcast contest, verify the model, and to investigate various local weather phenomena. Other areas of student research have included climate change and atmospheric chemistry. Many of the students have presented their projects at the Stony Brook RAIRE program for undergraduate achievement, and some have been awarded summer RAIRE fellowships to continue their work.
Stony Brook is strongly committed to undergraduate research. It has been recognized by the National Science Foundation as one of the ten major universities for excellence in undergraduate research and is one of its RAIRE award receipients. Many of our undergraduates actively participate in Institute research projects, learning about the research process while making important contributions. For example, the summer 2008 REU program allowed students from Stony Brook and across the country to study sea-breeze evolution and air-sea interaction in the coastal zone surrounding Long Island.