Austin Becker, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Director of Graduate Programs
URI Department of Marine Affairs

Dr. Austin Becker is Assistant Professor and Director of Graduate Programs in the Department of Marine Affairs at the University of Rhode Island (URI). He is an interdisciplinary scientist working across the fields of urban planning and policy, engineering, and ocean science. He uses seaports as a case study, creating and testing tools that help decision makers engage with complex natural hazard resilience problems. He has received funding from the Department of Homeland Security, the US Army Corps of Engineers and the RI Dept. of Transportation to conduct work on seaport resilience and vulnerability assessments.

Dr. Becker’s work is recognized globally and his is a member of several expert groups, including at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the American Society of Civil Engineers. He is co-editor of Climate Change Adaptation Planning for Ports and has over 30 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters and has presented at over 75 conferences.

In 2017, Dr. Becker was awarded the prestigious Sloan Foundation Research Fellowship in Ocean Sciences and, in 2018, the URI Early Career Research and Scholarship Excellence Award. He earned a PhD in Environment and Resources at Stanford University, a Master of Marine Affairs and Master of Environmental Science and Management at URI, and a B.A. at Hampshire College. He also worked for many years as a captain of sail-training vessels and maintains his 500-Ton U.S. Coast Guard captain’s license for ocean-going vessels.
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