New York State Marine Education Association

September 2016


NYSMEA Annual Conference Registration Now Open! 

Thursday, September 15th is the last day for the early bird discount and dorm room registration for the NYSMEA Annual Conference. After that date, the registration fee will increase by $20. 

NYSMEA's 38th annual conference will be held on October 1st at Stony Brook University's Southampton campus.  We are grateful to Stony Brook's School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences (SoMAS) for hosting this year's event.  Our theme is “Island Voices: Promoting Best Practices for Coastal Conservation and Resilience,” and we have scheduled great speakers, workshops, exhibitors, student posters, field trips, and lots of opportunities for networking with fellow marine enthusiasts.
Schedule Highlights
See below for the conference schedule.  As you can see, we have two great speakers lined up: Chris Paparo, Manager of SoMAS's Marine Sciences Center, and Dr. Chris Gobler, Director of Academic Programs for SoMAS.  We also have organized a panel of SoMAS PhD candidates who will talk about their research related to foraging behavior in terns at Great Gull Island, the effects of ocean acidification on bivalves, and the effects of Hurricane Sandy on sea grass and nekton communities in the Great South Bay.  As has become our practice at NYSMEA, we are inviting high school and college students as well as adults to attend the conference.  There will be student poster sessions during the breakfast and lunch hours.  Please contact me if you would like to present a poster of your marine-related research.  We encourage teachers to bring students who are interested in marine science, and we encourage students to bring their science teachers! 
Since Southampton is a bit of a trek from NYC and upstate NY, we are inviting you to spend Friday and/or Saturday nights in a comfortable dorm room on the Southampton campus.  The rate is $59 per night for a single, or $51 per person per night for a double, and linens and toiletries are provided.  As an added incentive to come out Friday afternoon, SoMAS will be presenting Rob DiGiovanni from the Riverhead Foundation as a speaker at 7 pm Friday night in Chancellor's Hall.  He will be speaking about Long Island's sea turtles.  By coming out on Friday, you'll also be ready to go for the 7 am beach walk with Lou Siegel Saturday morning!
Students under age 18 are only allowed to stay in the dorm if they are accompanied by a parent (at the double rate, that would be $102 for parent and child to share a room), and availability will depend on how many adult registrants sign up for dorm rooms.  The Hamlet Inn is within walking distance of the campus, though, and they have agreed to extend us a generous discount for the conference (the rooms are normally $399 per night; our rate would be $250 per night).  Each room can hold 5 people, so that works out to $50 per person per night if you don't mind sharing the double beds and letting one person sleep on the couch.  Call Denise at 631-496-2268 and mention NYSMEA to receive the discounted rate.
We will be holding our annual silent and live auctions, which raise money to help offset the costs of the conference as well as other important NYSMEA events throughout the year.  If you'd like to donate any items, please bring them with you, preferably on Friday night, so they can be included in the silent auction, which gets underway during registration on Saturday.  If you have a really nice "big ticket" item you'd like to donate to the live auction, please contact me.
Field Trips
We are putting the finishing touches on our field trip offerings; they are likely to include kayaking and visits to a natural history museum and a marine biology classroom at Southampton High School.  One definite trip will be a 3-hour collecting and research cruise aboard the Marine Sciences Center's R/V Peconic.  The boat can hold 35 people, and the price per person is $25.  Since we anticipate that more than 35 of you might want to go on this trip, the captain has agreed to offer a second trip on Sunday from 10 am - 1 pm for those staying over on Saturday night.  On the registration form, you will have the opportunity to indicate if you'd like to go on this trip, and you can specify the day you prefer.  Please note that due to the cost of the boat, the trip(s) will run only if a minimum of 25 people sign up. (R/V Peconic photo by Kurt Bretsch.)
There is plenty of free parking on the Southampton campus.  If you prefer to use the Long Island Railroad, here is a link to their schedule of trains:  You will be able to take a taxi or call an Uber to get a ride to the Southampton campus.
To register for the conference, you must be a current NYSMEA member.  When you login at (in the upper left-hand corner of the screen) with your email address and password, the computer will let you know whether you are a current member or not, and if you are not, you will need to join (or rejoin) NYSMEA before you can proceed.  Make sure you use the same password you used when you created the account, and use the "Forgot Password" option if you need to.  Please do not re-enter your contact data or use a different email address (unless absolutely necessary), as this will result in you being in our database multiple times, which makes record-keeping difficult for our Membership Secretary, David Stolarz.  If you have any trouble logging in, please email David at, and he will be able to help you.
If multiple family members are registering for the conference, each person needs to register individually, so that I have each of their names listed on the spreadsheet.  If you have a NYSMEA family membership, just send me an email with the names and email addresses of the family members who will be attending, and I will manually enter them into the system.  While they won’t have to pay to join or rejoin NYSMEA, they will still each need to pay for their own registrations.  It might be easiest to send me a check in that case (see instructions below).
Because last year's conference was on September 26th, and many people renewed their membership when they registered for that conference, you might be a current member today but a lapsed member by October 1st.  For that reason, you might choose to renew your membership now. You will also be able to renew in person at the conference, paying either by check or credit card.
Conference registration is only $80 ($30 for full-time students), and includes a continental breakfast, buffet lunch (assorted sandwiches, salads, dessert, and beverages), the morning speaker, 3 workshops, silent auction, student posters, and a field trip!  If you stay for the evening (only $40 more), you will enjoy a wine reception, the evening speaker, a buffet dinner (Chicken Provencal, pasta, grilled veggies, Caesar salad, dessert), and the always-exciting live auction.  Payments may be made using Paypal or a credit card.  If you prefer to send a check, please email me (, and I will send you instructions on how to proceed.
Please note that the early bird deadline is September 15th.  After that date, the registration fee will increase by $20.

The link to get you to the registration page is 
I look forward to seeing you on October 1st (or September 30th) at Stony Brook Southampton!
Sarah Richards
NYSMEA Conference Coordinator

NYSMEA Annual Conference Schedule

Tentative Schedule for Saturday, October 1st
7:00-8:00           Beach Walk with Lou Siegel

7:30-8:25           Registration and breakfast, silent auction opens, student posters and exhibitors in Chancellors Lobby

8:30-8:45           Welcome in Duke Lecture Hall

8:45-9:35           Keynote Speaker Chris Paparo, "From Plankton to Whales: Why our local waters are worth protecting"

9:35-9:45           Walk to Marine Station classrooms

9:45-10:30         Session 1 (3 concurrent workshops)

10:40-11:25       Session 2 (3 concurrent workshops)

11:25-11:35       Walk to Chancellors Lobby

11:40-12:25       Panel of 3 SoMAS scientists: 
  1. Sam Urmy "Foraging Behavior of Terns at Great Gull Island, NY: Ecological Theory meets Radar Tracking."
  2. Andrew Griffith- "Transgenerational effects of ocean acidification on bivalve shellfish"
  3. Amanda Tinoco- "The effects of Hurricane Sandy on sea grass and nekton communities in the Great South Bay"  
12:30-1:15         Lunch, exhibitors, student posters, silent auction in Chancellors Lobby

1:15                  Silent auction closes

1:20-1:50           Business meeting and awards in Duke Lecture Hall

2:00-5:00           Field trips (including boat trip on R/V Peconic)   
5:30-6:30           Return to campus for wine and cheese reception in Student Center Cafeteria or on outdoor patio

6:30-7:20           Dinner in Cafeteria

7:20-7:30           Kurt Bretsch talks about SoMAS undergraduate program

7:30-8:30           Keynote Speaker Dr. Chris Gobler, "Water quality impairment on Long Island: Challenges and solutions"

8:30-9:00           Live Auction (5 or so big items)

9:00-11:00         After-party in downtown Southampton
NYSMEA 146 Suffolk Hall Stony Brook, NY 11794 Phone: 631-632-9216 
NYSMEA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization 

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New York State Marine Education Association · Tom Greene, Physical Science Dept. Kingsborough Community College · 2001 Oriental Blvd. · Brooklyn, NY 11235 · USA

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