As Director of the Environmental Change Institute (ECI) I coordinate the work of more than 100 interdisciplinary contract researchers and doctoral students who work primarily in the areas of climate, energy and ecosystems with a strong applied and policy focus. ECI hosts or co-hosts national and international projects that include the UK Climate Impacts Programme, the Oxford node of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, the UK Energy Research Centre, and the ICSU Global Environmental Change and Food Systems (GECAFS) international project office. ECI also hosts a node of the James Martin 21st Century School for Oxford University.My professional career prior to moving to Oxford was based in the United States with degrees in geography from Toronto (MA) and UCLA (PhD), postdoctoral fellowships from NCAR and the MacArthur Foundation, and faculty positions in geography at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Penn State and the University of Arizona (where I was also Director of the Centre for Latin American Studies and Dean of Social and Behavioural Sciences).My personal research has focused on the human dimensions of global environmental change including climate change policy and impacts, the social causes and consequences of land use change, and environmental management in the context of globalisation, especially in the Americas.This research has led me to a variety of leadership roles including chair of the US National Academy of Sciences Committee on the Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change and the science committee for GECAFS, chair of the Latin American Studies Association Environment section; co-chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee for the Inter-American Institute for Global Change; and member of committees for IGBP-Analysis, Integration and Modeling in the Earth Sciences (AIMES), the US National Academy of Sciences committee on the US Climate Change Science Plan, NOAA Social Science Advisory Board, NASA, NOAA Global Change Program, the US National Centre for Atmospheric Research and the Global Change, Publication and Honors Committees of the Association of American Geographers. I am a member of editorial boards of the Annual Review of Environment and Resources, Global Environmental Change, Annals of the Association of American Geographers, and Climatic Change. I have been a contributing author and reviewer for three Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assessments, including the most recent (2007) and have given evidence to congressional and parliamentary committees in the US and UK.In the last few years I have been honoured to give several plenary and distinguished lectures including at the Earth Systems Science Partnership Summit in Beijing China; the Nordic Geographers meeting in Lund; the Humboldt Lecture in the Department of Geography, UCLA; a Darwin Lecture in Cambridge; and I was a distinguished visiting scholar at Queens University and Memorial Universities in Canada.