Rafael Bras, now provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at the Georgia Institute of Technology, returned during his leave from MIT to deliver the 2008–2009 James R. Killian, Jr. Faculty Achievement Award Lecture. Professor Bras’s expertise is in surface hydrology and hydrometeorology and his work encompasses many aspects of Earth’s water cycle. He has contributed to significant international projects that include the development and construction of tidal gates to protect the city of Venice against flooding and is known for his pioneering ideas about the deforestation in the Amazon region. Lecture coverage at MIT News.