Paul Moskowitz, a former environmental health scientist and nuclear nonproliferation...

Paul Moskowitz, a former environmental health scientist and nuclear nonproliferation expert at Brookhaven National Laboratory and Idaho National Laboratory, died on Jan. 29 at age 73. Credit: Elizabeth Moskowitz

Paul Moskowitz, a former environmental health scientist and national security adviser who specialized in radiological security and nuclear nonproliferation, has died at age 73.

He died of leukemia on Jan. 29 at his Shoreham home, said his wife, Elizabeth Moskowitz. He was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2016.

Paul Moskowitz had a nearly 30-year tenure at Brookhaven National Laboratory, where he worked as an environmental health scientist, program manager and later division head of the Upton laboratory’s Nonproliferation & Counterterrorism Division in the Nonproliferation and National Security Department. He later worked for Idaho National Laboratory.

“Paul had such an engaging way with people. He was an intellect but an intellect with a smile on his face,” said Steven Aumeier, senior adviser for strategic programs at Idaho National Laboratory in Idaho Falls. "He made a difference, I think, not just in his work. It's this impact that he had on people around him."

Paul Kalb, a former division head in the Department of Environmental and Climate Sciences at Brookhaven National Laboratory who retired in 2021, called Moskowitz an effective “scientific leader and manager.”

“He was very good at putting teams together with just the right people to tackle a particular problem,” said Kalb, of Wading River, who worked with Moskowitz. “The work that Paul and I did was more of an applied science area. How do you use sciences and engineering to solve the problems of the world? And that's kind of what we did.”

Bob Dyer, a retired scientist from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, said he and Moskowitz were among those who worked under the Arctic Military Environmental Cooperation program, which primarily focused on Russia's aging fleet of nuclear submarines.

The program was a multilateral effort among Norway, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States that sought “to reduce the environmental impacts of Russia's military activities through technology development projects,” according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office.

Dyer, of Alexandria, Virginia, estimated that Moskowitz made two dozen trips to Russia.

“The whole objective was the decommissioning of the ballistic missile submarine fleet,” said Dyer, calling Moskowitz “a dynamic presence” in U.S. negotiations with Russian nuclear agencies.

“We would actually go on the submarines. And we would actually go to the storage sites,” Dyer said. “It wasn't just sitting around a conference table.”

Joseph Indusi, retired former chair of Brookhaven’s Nonproliferation and National Security Department, said in a statement that Moskowitz also contributed to a Department of Energy program known as “the Global Threat Reduction Initiative to assist foreign governments in securing radiative materials.”

In 2008, Moskowitz began working at Idaho National Laboratory as a senior national security adviser. He worked mostly from his home in New York and frequently traveled to Washington, D.C.

After he was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, he went on medical leave, his family and former colleagues said.

Moskowitz was born in Manhattan on Oct. 1, 1949, to Jack Moskowitz, a World War II veteran who owned a bakery, and Irene Moskowitz, an insurance agent, said his younger brother, Martin Moskowitz of Jericho. The family moved to Plainview in 1953.

When Paul Moskowitz was 12, he played catch with a dolphin when the family was on vacation in Florida and decided he wanted to become a marine biologist, his family said. In high school, he began surfing and that further sealed his love for the ocean, his brother said.

Paul Moskowitz studied biology at SUNY Oswego, where he met his future wife. He went on to earn a master’s degree in marine sciences from Stony Brook University.

In his spare time, Moskowitz loved to bike, hike and sail, his family said. He also liked working with wood and built decks, bookshelves and coffee tables.

“Paul's work focused on making the world cleaner, and then safer," his wife said. “He wanted to make a difference in the world, to have an impact. And he did.”

In addition to his wife and brother, Paul Moskowitz is survived by his two daughters, Rachel Stengel of Rocky Point and Jen Anderson of Colchester, Vermont; and eight grandchildren.

Moskowitz donated his body to Stony Brook University's School of Medicine and there are no services scheduled, his wife said.

His family asks that any donations be made to Long Island Cares, the Nature Conservancy, or the Environmental Defense Fund.

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