Peter B. de Menocal ’92GSAS, a Columbia oceanographer and paleoclimatologist, has been appointed dean of science in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
As a divisional dean, he joins Sharon Marcus, dean of humanities, and Alondra Nelson, dean of social sciences.
Columbia’s divisional-dean structure was established in 2011; the divisional deans work with the executive committee of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences — currently executive vice president David Madigan, Columbia College dean James J. Valentini, and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences dean Carlos J. Alonso — and other academic deans in managing the academic departments, research centers, and institutes in their divisions. The divisional deans are also responsible for establishing broader interdisciplinary research initiatives and helping to lead fundraising efforts to support them.
De Menocal, who chaired the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences from 2011 to 2014, also directs the Center for Climate and Life at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. This fall, he was named the Thomas Alva Edison/Con Edison Professor, a newly established chair funded by the public utility company Con Edison.
“The world faces urgent challenges in climate, human health, and technology innovation, and large research universities should be leading the charge to provide answers,” says de Menocal. “My goal is to help lead this charge for Columbia, to see us attack such big global problems with resources, discipline, and a sense of purpose.”