Carl Safina, noted environmental writer, joins faculty

Carl SafinaCarl Safina, one of the nation’s most esteemed environmental writers, has joined the faculty of the Stony Brook School of Journalism as a Visiting Professor. He will be contributing his expertise as a teacher, guest lecturer, and mentor to the journalism school’s graduate and undergraduate programs.

Dr. Safina, a marine ecologist, already is deeply involved in the journalism school’s work. As part of the school’s Journalism Without Walls program, he helped guide undergraduates on a reporting trip to the Gulf Coast last winter, to cover the aftermath of the BP oil spill. Student work from that trip can be seen here:

Dr. Safina also co-chairs the Center for Communicating Science, an interdisciplinary program based in the School of Journalism, which helps current and future scientists learn to communicate more clearly and vividly with the public. As part of that effort, he helps teach JRN 501 (Distilling Your Message), an innovative course for science graduate students in how to talk clearly about what they do and why it matters.

As the founding president of the Blue Ocean Institute, Dr. Safina is a leading science communicator. His six books have been praised for their vision, lyrical writing, sense of adventure and wealth of information. His book Song for the Blue Ocean is widely considered a classic of 20th Century environmental literature. In the last year, he has published two books, The View from Lazy Point: A Natural Year in an Unnatural World and A Sea in Flames: The Deepwater Horizon Oil Blowout.

In addition, Dr. Safina blogs ( and hosts a new PBS television series, Saving the Ocean with Carl Safina, about “unsung heroes” who are helping restore marine life and health. Two episodes aired on PBS stations in the spring, while more are being completed. Among his many honors, Dr. Safina has received a MacArthur Fellowship, the so-called “genius grant.”