PETER B. de MENOCAL is a Professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University. He is Founding Director of the Center for Climate & Life that seeks to understand how climate change impacts the security of food, water, shelter, and to explore sustainable energy solutions. At Columbia’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, he uses geochemical analyses of ocean sediments to understand past changes in tropical ocean temperatures and terrestrial climate with a special interest in African paleoclimate change and its influence on human evolution and culture. He was awarded the Lenfest Columbia Distinguished Faculty award in 2008, the Distinguished Brooksian award in 2013, and is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union. He was presented with a D. Sci. (hons. causa) degree from St. Lawrence University (2009).