Marine Affairs Coastal Resilience Lab (MACRL)


The Marine Affairs Coastal Resilience Lab (MACRL) works across the fields of planning, policy, design, and engineering. It contributes to untangling complex natural hazards problems and the resulting challenges in policy and planning. MACRL receives funding support from the US Army Corps of Engineers, the Dept. of Defense, and the Dept. of Homeland Security through the Center of Excellence in Coastal Resilience. In applied projects such as the Rhode Island Coastal Hazards Analysis Modeling and Prediction system (RICHAMP), Prof. Austin Becker and his team of research associates, graduate, and undergraduate students, conduct applied research using social science methods in close partnership with end users such as the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency and the Rhode Island Dept. of Environmental Management.


Dr. Austin Becker, MACRL lab PI

Dr. Austin Becker is Professor and Chair of the Department of Marine Affairs at the University of Rhode Island. As an interdisciplinary scientist, he works across the fields of planning, policy, engineering, and ocean science. Together with his students and research associates, he creates and tests tools that help decision makers engage with complex problems involving uncertainty, consequences of natural hazards and large-scale shifts in climate, and the resulting challenges in policy and planning. This includes communicating storm impacts to emergency managers; perceptions of climate change amongst port administrators (globally); impacts of hurricanes on port communities; barriers to resilience investing at northeast ports; and vulnerability assessments undertaken by US ports. He has received funding from DHS, USACE, DOD, and Dept. of Transportation and has worked directly with numerous industry groups.

Dr. Becker serves as an expert member of the United Nations Expert Group on Climate Adaption for Transport. Dr. Becker has over 50 peer-reviewed publications and in 2017 was awarded the prestigious Sloan Foundation Researcher Fellowship in Ocean Sciences. He earned his PhD in Environment and Resources at Stanford University and maintains a 500 Ton USCG Captain’s License.

Prof. Becker currently serves as Dept. Chair of Marine Affairs and the Director of the Graduate Certificate in Coastal Resilience program.

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