Gilbert N. Hanson 


Gilbert N. Hanson

Distinguished Service Professor
Office: ESS 340   
E-mail Address: gilbert.hanson"at"

B.A., University of Minnesota, 1958
Ph.D., University of Minnesota, 1964
Research Associate, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, 1965-66
Faculty member at Stony Brook since 1966
Fellow of:
American Geophysical Union, Geochemical Society, Geological Society of America, and Geological Society of India

For a complete curriculum vitae click here

Current Projects

Studies of Environmental and Geologic Systems on Long Island

Prof. Hanson is a member of the Long Island Groundwater Research Institute and is pursuing studies with members of the institute on soil chemistry, plant chemistry and groundwater chemistry. He is also involved in studies of the geology of Long Island.  The following are MS and Ph.D. thesis research and graduate and undergraduate research projects on Long Island. He was selected as Man of the Year in Science in December 2005 by The Village Times HeraldThe Port Times Record, and The Times of Middle Country.

  • Geng Xin did a Strontium Isotope Study of the Peconic River Watershed, Long Island, New York for his MS thesis
  • Sonya Boguslavsky determined the cation exchange capacity organic distribution coefficients and mineralogic composition of sediments in the unsaturated zone of Long Island for her MS thesis
  • Patti Bleifuss  undertook a study of the sources of nitrate in the Northport area of Long Island for her MS thesis
  • Stacy Ann Lawrence used dendrochronology and the geochemistry of tree rings on Long Island to evaluate the effect of acid rain on Long  Island's soils and trees for her MS thesis
  • Jian Zhong used Ar-Ar ages of single grains of  muscovite and biotite to determine the provenance of loess on Long Island for her MS thesis
  • Vesna Kundic studied the age and provenance of loess on Long Island for her MS thesis
  • Jennie Munster used geochemistry to evaluate the source of nitrate in groundwater in Suffolk County, New York for her MS thesis
  • Jennie Munster also evaluated the sources of perchlorate as well as nitrate in groundwater in Suffolk County for her Ph.D. dissertation
  • Linda Liu has modeled Mg, Ca, K, and Na during interaction of a sewage plume with Long Island sediments for her MS thesis
  • Xuan (Sunny) Xu studied the Chemical signature of a sewage plume from a cesspool, Long Island, New York for her MS thesis
  • Soma Das (Sen) studied the Origin and evolution of Dry Valleys south of Ronkonkoma Moraine for her MS thesis
  • Lisha Zhou evaluated the use of NEXRAD radar data for determining the annual precipitation patterns on Long Island for her MS thesis
  • Caitlin Young evaluated the extent of denitrification in groundwater in the Northport area ofSuffolk County for her MS thesis
  • Waldemar Pacholik used erratic boulders on the Stony Brook campus to map the basement in the Long Island Sound for a graduate research project.
  • Ashaki Rouff described nitrogen recycling in pore water and sediment at the base of a standing recharge on the Stony Brook University Campus for a graduate research project
  • Danielle Mulch re-evaluated the geomorphology of the Port Jefferson tunnel valley and outwash fan for a graduate research project.
  • Jessica Nienstedt used well logs and outcrops to develop the stratigraphy of the Stony Brook campus for a graduate research project.
  • Carrie Friello modeled the anatomy of a crevasse fill ridge on the Stony Brook campus as a graduate research project.
  • Sean Tvelia characterized the glaciotectonic development of the Selden Hill associated with Ronkonkoma Moraine for a graduate research project.
  • Shantao Zhang considered the origin of Coastal Plain Ponds in New York and New Jersey for a graduate research project.
  • Pushpa Jha evaluated the impact acid rain and fire on the pH of soil in the Dwarf Pine Plains for a graduate research project.
  • Anthony Caniano investigated an undefined chlorinated volatile organic compound groundwater plume on the North Shore of Long Island for a graduate research project.
  • Fang Liu studied the amount of ammonium adsorption in a sewage leach field on Fire Island for a graduate research project.
  • Patrick Criscuola estimated the volume of the Port Jefferson outwash fan for a graduate research project.
  • Tenzin Lhundup interpreted the geology of Ashley Schiff Park Preserv on the Stony Brook campus for undergraduate research project.
  • Matthew Bauch studied the soil pH in a woodland on the Stony Brook University campus as an undergraduate research project.
  • Nicholas Kilb modeled ponding in two flooded recharge basins on the Stony Brook campus as an undergraduate research project.

Long Island Geologists

Long Island Geologists

Prof. Hanson is the coordinator for the Long Island Geologists meetings. These include the Conference on the Geology of Long Island and Metropolitan New York in April, and occasional field trips.  

Earth Science Research Project

Prof. Hanson is promoting research at the secondary school level through the Earth Science Research Project.  The major goal of this project is to enhance the  research experience in secondary level Earth Science courses. GEO 589 Research for Earth Science Teachers  is intended to provide Earth Science teachers or students in the MAT in Earth Sciences program an opportunity to obtain research experience.


Recent Publications

Munster, J., Hanson, G.N., Petrovic, A.M., Bokuniewicz, H., Evaluating nitrate leaching between diverse turfgrass sites, Northeastern Geol. and Env. Sciences, 28, 368-377 (2006)

Hanson, G.N., Regional and Global Environmental Threats to Long Island’s Pine Barrens, Long Island Botanical Society, Quarterly Newsletter, 17, 29-33 (2007)

Munster, J., Hanson, G.N. Jackson W.A, Rajagopalan, S., The Fallout from Fireworks: Perchlorate in Total Deposition, Water, Air and Soil Pollution, 198, 149-153 (2008)

Munster, J. Hanson, G.N., Perchlorate and ion chemistry of road runoff, Environ. Chem., 6, 28–35 (2009)

Munster, J. Hanson, G.N., Perchlorate in an urban lawn environment, Environ. Chem., 6, 36–43 (2009)

Hanson, G.N., Geological Setting of Tidal Marshes on Long Island, in Tidal marshes of Long Island,Memoirs of the Torrey Botanical Society, J.E Potente editor, 26, 6-13 (2010)

Kundic, V., Hemming, S., and Hanson, G.N., Single-grain 40Ar/39Ar ages of detrital muscovite from loess on Long Island, New York (Special Paper 487) Mineralogical and Geochemical Approaches to Provenance, ed. E.T. Rasbury, S.R. Hemming and N.R. Riggs, Geological Society of America, 487, 105-111 (2012)

Young, C.R., G.N.Hanson and K. Kroeger (in press), Limited dentrification in glacial deposit aquifers having thick unsaturated zones, Hydrology Journal (in press)


Gil pointing to loess above till on the Stony Brook CampusGil pointing to loess above till
on the Stony Brook Campus

News & Announcements

Geosciences Seminar

Geosciences Department Newsletter


Thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor, the department has established a Laboratory for the Analysis and Dating of Sediments. 

Stony Brook Geosciences going Far Beyond: Newest Department of Geosciences faculty member Weisen Shen's seismological research takes him to the South Pole.

Richard Reeder named Vice President for Research and Operations Manager

Mars Rover collects exciting evidence from Gale Crater

Congratulations to Scott McLennan who was named Distinguished Professor

Funding Opportunity for MS applicants interested in Instrumentation

Geosciences alum Barbara Cohen named to leadership position for Mars Exploration Rovers 

Q & A with Geosciences Graduate Student Steven Jaret as he prepares for the International FameLab national finals in Washington D.C. 

Geosciences Graduate Students bring hands-on Science education to area elementary schools

Melissa Sims chosen to introduce Secretary of Energy at NSLS-II Dedication

Celebrating Robert Cooper Liebermann

Professor Joel Hurowitz named Deputy PI for Mars 2020 Rover Instrument

PhD Student Yuyan (Sara) Zhao selected for Prestigious Dwornik Award

Professor Timothy Glotch to lead NASA funded research team

Professor Martin Schoonen named Chairman of the Environmental Sciences Department at BNL

Professors John Parise and Artem Oganov pursue Materials Genome Initiative

Professor Deanne Rogers finds evidence for past groundwater on Mars

Professor Robert Liebermann accepts Edward A. Flinn Award

Professor Scott McLennan selected for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Team

Professor Timothy Glotch receives NSF Career Award

Geosciences PhD Francis McCubbin receives Presidential Early Career Award

Professor Scott McLennan on NASA team that finds new evidence for water at Mars crater

Geoscience Researchers Develop Numerical Model to Better Forecast Forces Behind Earthquakes 

Geoscience Professor Don Weidner selected to receive Inge Lehman Medal

Geoscience researchers find that natural minerals disinfect drinking water

Professor Dan Davis publishes 4th edition of "Turn Left at Orion"

Stony Brook PhD and Faculty Advisor Show that the Moon Isn't as Dry as Previously Thought

The Department welcomes its new faculty member, Deanne Rogers

Jerome Varriale, Geosciences major, Named URECA Researcher of the Month  


Department of Geosciences - Earth and Space Science Building, Stony Brook, NY 11794-2100  Phone: (631) 632-8200
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