He will begin his tenure at the renowned ocean science institution on October 1, 2020.
In 2016, de Menocal realized his vision for the Center for Climate and Life by mobilizing philanthropic support to advance high risk, high-value climate research, drive collaborative discovery, and engage business leaders and stakeholders.
This work is led by the 14 scientists in the Climate and Life Fellows Program, the Center’s flagship initiative that supports transformative research by 120 Columbia climate scientists.
“I’m humbled and thrilled to lead WHOI in this time of great global need for ocean science, innovation, and action,” said de Menocal. “This is a generational opportunity to advance the science we need for the world we want. The Center has proven that this new model works and is scalable.”
Under de Menocal’s leadership, the Center invested $4 million in interdisciplinary climate research at Columbia. The resulting discoveries attracted $32.5 million in new federal and private research funding for Columbia science—a seven-fold return on investment.
“Over his 34 years at Columbia University, Peter’s contributions to Lamont, and to the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences have been enormous, shaping the trajectory of our research institution, establishing the Center for Climate and Life, mentoring and supporting countless students and scientists, and enriching the world’s understanding of our planet,” wrote Maureen Raymo, interim director of Lamont, in an email to the Observatory community.
“His brilliance, his enthusiastic approach to all challenges and opportunities, his sense of humor, his laugh, and his kind encouragement have all been deeply valued and will be missed by many.”
The Center for Climate and Life will continue at Lamont in the directorate under Raymo’s leadership.