Liz graduated from Wesleyan University with a BA in Environmental Science (1980), obtained a masters in Marine Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill before going on to a PhD in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology / Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Joint Program in Oceanography (1990). Coming from a family of naturalists and self-avowed "water rats" it is no surprise that Liz was drawn to oceanography. It was the realization that as a climate researcher your job is discovering unknowns about how our environment functions that keeps her there. Her main interest is paleoceanography - the study of long-term (thousands of years) climate variability in the ocean. Within this broad field she investigates past sea surface temperature and the Southern Ocean’s influence on glacial and interglacial climate change. The unifying theme in her research is the interconnection of carbon cycling, ocean circulation, and global climate.