The new seaside Stony Brook University Marine Sciences Center in Southampton provides a state-of-the-art destination for school field trips.
Christopher Gobler, a Stony Brook professor, said that the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences hopes to expand its community outreach to students.
"We all live on an island here and think all of our students should have a firm awareness of the marine environment," he said.
With the new $8.3 million facility, which opened Sept. 27, the school hopes to bring in more one-day school trips to the Southampton campus. In prior years, groups from Southampton, Hampton Bays, Smithtown, Riverhead and other areas have visited.
"When they come in, they come on the boats, and we also get them into the lab a bit," Gobler said. "We may go in and look at local things they collect in bays."
The school also offers its Summer Oceanography class, an intensive, two-week program for high school students seeking college credit.
University students can also do a semester-by-the-sea, where all the classes are out of the Southampton campus in fall and spring semesters. While most are in the marine sciences, some classes include maritime history and maritime literature.
To learn more, go to somas.stonybrook.edu.