Austin Becker

Dr. Austin Becker is Assistant Professor of Coastal Planning, Policy, and Design in the Department of Marine Affairs at the University of Rhode Island. His teaching and research on sustainable design, port planning and policy, GIS, and climate policy contribute to the untangling of complex planning and policy problems involving uncertainty, mismatched incentive structures, and climate change. He uses urban coastal areas, and seaports in particular, as a lens through which to study tools, such as vulnerability indices and disaster visualizations, that enhance stakeholder participation in long-term planning. Dr. Becker is a regularly invited speaker at expert meetings of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), and the Joint Research Center of the European Commission, as well as numerous conferences in the United States. He also served as a contributing author to the National Climate Assessment and to the American Society of Civil Engineers Manual on Sea Level Rise Considerations for Marine Civil Works. Dr. Becker earned his PhD in Stanford University’s Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources. He earned his Master of Marine Affairs and Master of Environmental Science and Management degrees at URI and he holds a B.A. from Hampshire College. His previous career was as a captain of educational sailing ships, including Rhode Island’s Continental Sloop Providence. He maintains a 500-Ton U.S. Coast Guard captain’s license for ocean-going vessels.