Austin Becker

  • Professor & Chair of Marine Affairs and Director of the Graduate Certificate in Coastal Resilience
  • Department of Marine Affairs
  • Phone: 401.874.4192
  • Email:
  • Office Location: Coastal Institute, Room 206
  • Website
  • Accepting Students: Ph.D.


As an interdisciplinary scientist, Dr. Becker works across the fields of planning, policy, engineering, design, and ocean science. He uses coastal infrastructure as a case study, focusing on creating and testing 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. He is co-editor of Climate Change Adaptation Planning for Ports and has over 35 peer-reviewed publications. In 2017, Dr. Becker was awarded the prestigious Sloan Foundation Research Fellowship in Ocean Sciences. Dr. Becker’s research funding includes support from the US Army Corps of Engineers, the Dept. of Homeland Security, and the RI Dept. of Transportation. He earned a PhD in Environment and Resources at Stanford University. He also maintains his 500-Ton U.S. Coast Guard captain’s license for ocean-going vessels.


Coastal resilience, emergency management, seaports and maritime infrastructure, decision making, hazard and impact modeling, coastal planning, engineering policy, climate change


PhD, Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment & Resources, Stanford University, 2013
Master of Environmental Science and Management, University of Rhode Island (URI), 2006
Master of Marine Affairs, URI, 2005
Bachelor of Arts, Hampshire College, 1995
Williams College/Mystic Seaport Maritime Studies Program, 1994

Selected Publications

Grant, R., Rhode-Barbarigos, L., Roy, S.S., Britton, L., Li, C., Rowe, A., Becker, A., Hope, B., Bello, M. (2024) No port stands alone: PortMiami and the resilience of its Caribbean and Mesoamerican maritime network. Maritime Economics & Logistics. DOI: 10.1057/s41278-024-00283-3
Adams, S.*, Becker, A. (corresponding author), Stempel, P., Hallisey, N.*, McElroy, K.*, Ginis, I., Crowley, D. (2024), “Ocean State Rising: Storm Simulation and Vulnerability Mapping To Predict Hurricane Impacts For Rhode Island’s Critical Infrastructure.” Journal of Emergency Management. 22(7):47-61 
Stempel, P., Becker, A., Nasr-Azadani, E. (2023), “Expert Perceptions of Uncertainty Communication in 3D Visualizations of Coastal Hazards.” Digital Landscape Architecture.
Kalaidjian, E.*, Becker, A. (corresponding author), Pinel, S. (2022). Insights into resilience planning theory and practice: A case study of U.S. Seaports. Frontiers in Sustainability. DOI 10.3389/frsus.2022.963555
Hill, D.* Becker, A. (corresponding author), Vieira, A.** (2022 )The U.S. shipbuilding and repair industry’s considerations of coastal hazards resilience – a baseline survey. Maritime Policy and Management. DOI:10.1080/03088839.2022.2138597
Becker, A., Hallisey, N.*, Kalaidjian, E.*, Stempel, P., Rubinoff, P. (2022). Hazard consequence modeling for emergency management: A Participatory Action Research approach to enhance disaster response. Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.
McClean, E., Becker, A. (corresponding author), (2021). Advancing seaport resilience: Strategies to overcome decision making barriers. Frontiers in Sustainability.
Becker, A., Hallisey, N.*, Bove, G.* (2021). Toward Regional Hazard Risk Assessment: A Method to Geospatially Inventory Critical Coastal Infrastructure Applied to the Caribbean. Journal of Infrastructure Preservation and Resilience.
Stempel, P.*, Becker, A. Rubinoff, P., Fultineer, S., (2021). Beyond the Blue Blob: The Salience and Perceived Legitimacy of Alternative Sea Level Rise Visualizations. Journal of Digital Landscape Architecture. 10.14627/537705008.
Stempel, P.*, Becker, A., (2021). Is it scientific? Perceptions of semi-realistic 3D storm surge visualizations. Cartographica.
Becker, A. (2020). Climate change impacts to ports and maritime supply chains. Maritime Policy & Management, 47(7), 849-852. doi:10.1080/03088839.2020.1800854.
Mokashi, A., Becker, A., Corbett, J., (2020). America’s Marine Highway Stakeholders: A System Scale Analysis of Influence in Decision Making. Journal of Maritime Affairs.
Vanceylon, J., Lang, C., Becker, A., (2020). Whatever Floats Your Vote: Understanding Voter Support for Public Port Infrastructure Investments. Maritime Policy and Management. DOI: 10.1080/03088839.2020.1754478.
McIntosh, R.D.*, Becker, A. (2020), “Applying Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis to Weight Indicators of Seaport Vulnerability to Climate and Extreme Weather Impacts for U.S. North Atlantic Ports.” Environment Systems and Decisions. DOI: 10.1007/s10669-020-09767-y.
Henry, J.*, Becker, A. (corresponding author),, (2020). Port Stakeholder Perceptions of Sandy Impacts – A Case Study of Red Hook, NJ. Maritime Policy and Management. DOI: 10.1080/03088839.2020.1729434
Sweeney, B.*, Becker, A., (2020), Considering Future Sea Level Change in Maritime Infrastructure Design: A Survey of US Engineers. Journal of Waterway, Port, Coastal, and Ocean Engineering (ASCE). Vol 146, No. 4.
Bove, G.*, Becker, A., Sweeney, B., Vousdoukas, M., Kulp, S. (2020) A method for regional estimation of climate change exposure of coastal infrastructure: Case of USVI and the influence of digital elevation models on assessments. Science of The Total Environment 710.
Mclean, E.L., Becker, A. (2019) Decision makers’ barriers to climate and extreme weather adaptation: a study of North Atlantic high‐ and medium‐use seaports. Sustainability Science 11, 835-847.
McIntosh, R.D.*, Becker, A., (2019), “Expert Evaluation of Open-Data Indicators of Seaport Vulnerability to Climate and Extreme Weather Impacts for U.S. North Atlantic.” Ocean and Coastal Management. Vol. 180, No. 1.
Stempel, P.*, Becker, A., (2019). Visualizations out of context. Implications of using simulation-based 3d hazard visualizations. ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information: Special issue on Natural Hazards and Geospatial Information. Vol 8, No 318; Doi:10.3390/ijgi8080318.
Witkop, R.*, Becker, A., Stempel, P.*, Ginis, I. (2019). Developing Consequence Thresholds for Storm Models through Participatory Processes: Case Study of Westerly Rhode Island.

Frontiers in Earth Science: Geohazards and Georisks.Vol. 7. Doi: 10.3389/feart.2019.00133.

Becker A., Kretsch, E.*, (2019) The Leadership Void for Climate Adaptation Planning: Case Study of the Port of Providence (Rhode Island, United States). Frontiers in Earth Science, 7. Doi:10.3389/feart.2019.00029.
Casey, A.*, Becker, A., (2019). Institutional and Conceptual Barriers to Climate Change Adaptation for Coastal Cultural Heritage. Coastal Management, pp. 1-20. 10.1080/08920753.2019.1564952.
Stempel, P.*, Ginis, I., Ullman, D., Becker, A., Witkop, R. (2018). Real-Time Chronological Hazard Impact Modeling. Journal of Marine Science and Engineering, Vol. 6, no. 134. Doi:10.3390/jmse6040134.
Monioudi, I, Asariotis, R., Becker, A., Dowding-Gooden, D., Esteban, M., Mentaschi, L., Nikolaou, A., Nurse, L., Phillips, W., Smith, D., Satoh, M., Snow-Bhat, C., Trotz, U., Velegrakis, A., Voukouvalas, E., Vousdoukas, M., Witkop, R.* (2018). Climate change impacts on critical international transportation assets of Caribbean Small Island Developing States (SIDS): The case of Jamaica and Saint Lucia. Regional Environmental Change.
Ng, A.K.Y., Zhang, H., Afenyo, M., Becker, A., Cahoon, S., Chen, S.L., Esteben, M., Ferrari, C., Lau, Y.Y., Lee, P.T.W., Monios, J., Tei, A., Yang, Z. and Acciaro, M. (2018): ‘Port decision-maker perceptions on the effectiveness of climate adaptation actions’. Coastal Management, vol. 46, no. 3, pp. 148-175.
Becker, A., Ng, A.K.Y., McEvoy, D., Mullett, J., (2018). “Implications of climate change for shipping: Ports and supply chains.”  Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change: vol. 9, no. 2, e508. Doi: 10.1002/wcc.508.
Ng, A.K.Y., Andrews, J., Babb, D., Lin, Y., Becker, A. (2018). “Implications of climate change for shipping: Opening the Arctic seas.”  Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change: vol. 9, no. 2, e507. Doi: 10.1002/wcc.507.
Bukvic, A., Zhu, H., Lavoie, R.*, Becker, A. (2018). “The role of proximity to waterfront in residents’ relocation decision-making post-Hurricane Sandy.”  Ocean & Coastal Management 154:8-19. Doi:
Esteban, M., Takagi, H., Mikami, T., Bahbouh, L., Becker, A., Nurse, L., Shibayama, T., and Nagdee, M., (2017) “How to Carry Out Bathymetric and Elevation Surveys on a Tight Budget: Basic Surveying Techniques for Climate Change Planning” International Journal of Sustainable Future for Human Security. N Vol 5, No 2, 2017.
Becker, A., Hippe, A., McLean, E., (2017), Cost and Materials Required to Retrofit US Seaports in Response to Sea Level Rise: A Thought Exercise for Climate Response. Journal of Marine Science and Engineering 5 (3), 44.
Becker, A., (2017), “Using Boundary Objects to Stimulate Transformational Thinking: Hazard Resilience for the Port of Providence.” Sustainability Science. Vol. 12, No. 3, pp. 477-501.
Touzinsky, K, Rosati, J., Fox-Lent, C., Becker, A., Luscher, A. (2016), Advancing Coastal Systems Resilience Research: Improving Quantification Tools through Community Feedback. Shore and Beach. Vol. 84, No. 4, pp. 30-38.
Becker, A., Chase, N., Fischer, M., Schwegler, B., Mosher, K., (2016), “A method to estimate climate-critical construction materials applied to seaport protection.” Global Environmental Change. Doi: 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2016.07.008.
Romelczyk, E.*, Becker, A. (2016), “Missing the tide? Workplace cultural differences as a barrier to seafarer mobility in the U.S. workboat and sail training sectors.” Maritime Policy and Management. (Nominated for MPM Best Manuscript 2016)
Becker, A., and Caldwell, M. (2015), “Stakeholder Perceptions of Seaport Resilience Strategies: A Case Study of Gulfport (Mississippi) and Providence (Rhode Island).” Coastal Management, 43 (1):1-34. Doi: 10.1080/08920753.2014.983422.
Becker, A., Matson, P., Fischer, M., Mastrandrea, M., (2014), “Toward seaport resilience for climate change adaptation: Stakeholder perceptions of hurricane impacts in Gulfport (MS) and Providence (RI).” Progress in Planning. Doi: 10.1016/j.progress.2013.11.002.
Becker A., Acciaro M., Asariotis R., Carera E., Cretegny L., Crist P., Esteban M., Mather A., Messner S., Naruse S., Ng A.K.Y., Rahmstorf S., Savonis M, Song D., Stenek V., Velegrakis A.F. (2013) A Note on Climate change adaptation for seaports: A challenge for global ports, a challenge for global society. Climatic Change. Doi:10.1007/s10584-013-0843-z. (Cited in 2018 National Climate Assessment).
Kirchofer, A., Brandt, A., Krevor, S., Prigiobbe, V., Becker, A., Wilcox, J. (2013), “Assessing the Potential of Mineral Carbonation with Industrial Alkalinity Sources in the U.S.” Energy Procedia, Vol. 37, (Performed GIS analysis portion of this study).
Kirchofer, A., Becker, A., Brandt, A., Wilcox, J. (2013), “CO2 Mitigation Potential of Mineral Carbonation with Industrial Alkalinity Sources in the U.S.” Environmental Science & Technology. DOI: 10.1021/es4003982, (Performed GIS analysis portion of this study).
Fu, E., Newell, D., Becker, A, Fischer, M., Schwegler, B. (2013), “Is Adaptation Sustainable? A Method to Estimate Climate-Critical Construction Resource Capacity.” Journal of Construction Innovation: Information, Process, and Management. Issue 3, Number 2. Online at:
Becker A., Fischer M., Inoue S., and Schwegler B. (2012), “Climate Change Impacts on International Seaports: Knowledge, Perceptions, and Planning Efforts Among Port Administrators,” Climatic Change, No. 110, pp. 5-29. Online at: (Cited in 2018 National Climate Assessment).

Research Abstracts