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Michael W. Beck

Mike Beck is lead marine scientist for The Nature Conservancy. He is also a research associate at the Institute for Marine Science and has an adjunct appointment in the Department of Ocean Sciences at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Beck serves on an advisory committee of the National Academy of Sciences (Marine Hydrokinetic Energy) and on NOAA’s Science Advisory Board (Ecosystem Science and Management work group). He was a Fulbright Fellow and an Australian Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Sydney. He was awarded a 2012 Pew Fellowship in Marine Conservation to promote green infrastructure as a strategy for adapting to climate change and to support ecosystem recovery to help make communities less vulnerable to current coastal hazards.

Beck works on the interface between marine science and policy, on marine spatial planning, habitat restoration, and coral reef conservation in temperate and tropical regions. Most recently, his work has increasingly focused on developing decision support approaches to build coastal resilience and on the links between disaster risk reduction, climate adaptation and environmental restoration.

Read Michael W. Beck's Full Biography

Mike in the Media

Publications

Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning

Kim, C-K, J. Toft, M. Papenfus, G. Verutes, A. Guerry, M. Ruckelshaus, K. Arkema, G. Guannel, S. Wood, J. Bernhardt, H. Tallis, M. Plummer, B. Halpern; M. Pinsky, M. W. Beck, F. Chan, K. Chan, P. Levin, S. Polasky.In press. Catching the right wave: evaluating wave energy resources and potential compatibility with existing marine and coastal uses. PLoS ONE 7(11): e47598. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0047598.

Grantham, H. S., V. N. Agostini, J. Wilson, S. Mangubhai, N. Hidayat, A. Muljadi, Muhajir, C. Rotinsulu, M. Mongdong, M. W. Beck, H. P. Possingham. In press. A comparison of zoning analyses to inform the planning of a marine protected area network in Raja Ampat, Indonesia. Marine Policy.

Guerry, A. M. + 28 others including M. W. Beck. 2012. Modelling benefits from nature: using ecosystem services to inform coastal and marine spatial planning. International Journal of Biodiversity Science, Ecosystem Services & Management.

Beck, M (contributing author). 2011. Strategic advice on designing and implementing coastal and marine spatial plans: A report from the NOAA Science Advisory Board. A global review of MSP efforts with official findings and recommendations for NOAA.

Foley, M. M., B. Halpern, F. Micheli, M. Armsby, M. Caldwell, C. Crain, E. Prahler, D. Sivas, N. Rohr, M. W. Beck, M. Carr, L. Crowder, J. E. Duffy, S. Hacker, K. McLeod, C. Peterson, H. Regan, M. Ruckelshaus, P. Sandifer, R. Steneck. 2010. Guiding ecological principles for marine spatial planning. Marine Policy 34:955-966.

Sea Level Rise and Storm Surge

Shepard, C., V. N. Agostini, B. Gilmer, T. Allen, J. Stone, W. Brooks, M. W. Beck. 2011. Assessing future risk: quantifying the effects of sea level rise on storm surge risk for the southern shores of Long Island, New York. Natural Hazards. DOI: 10.1007/s11069-011-0046-8.

The Protective Role of Coastal Marshes

Shepard, C., Crain, C., Beck, M.W. 2011. The protective role of coastal marshes: a systematic review and meta-analysis. PLoS ONE 6(11): e27374. 

Coastal Hazard Mitigation and Ecosystem Services

World Risk Report. 2012.

Beck, M. W., C. Shepard. 2012. Coastal habitats and risk reduction. In Mucke, P. World Risk Report 2012. Alliance Development Works, Berlin.

Welle, T., M. W. Beck, P. Mucke. 2012. Environmental degradation as a risk factor and environmental destruction caused by disasters. In Mucke, P. World Risk Report 2012. Alliance Development Works, Berlin. 

M. W. Beck, B. Gilmer, A. W. Whelchel, Z. Ferdaña, J. Stone, G. Raber, C. Shepard and I. Meliane. In press 2012. Using interactive decision support to integrate coastal hazard mitigation and ecosystem services in Long Island Sound, New York and Connecticut USA. In Renaud, F. (Ed). Linkages between Ecosystems, Livelihoods and Disaster Risk Reduction, UNU Press, Bonn.

Ferdaña, Z., S. Newkirk, A.W. Whelchel, B. Gilmer, M.W. Beck. Building Interactive Decision Support to Meet Management Objectives for Coastal Conservation and Hazard Mitigation on Long Island, New York, USA, in Andrade Pérez, A., Herrera Fernandez, B. and Cazzolla Gatti, R. (eds.) (2010). Building Resilience to Climate Change: Ecosystem-based adaptation and lessons from the field. Gland, Switzerland: IUCN. 72-87. 

Spalding, M. D., S. Ruffo, C. Lacambra, I. Meliane, L. Z. Hale, C. C. Shepard,  M. W. Beck. In press. The role of ecosystems in coastal protection: adapting to climate change and coastal hazards. Ocean & Coastal Management.

The Role of Ecosystems in Coastal Protection

Spalding, M. D., S. Ruffo, C. Lacambra, I. Meliane, L. Z. Hale, C. C. Shepard, M. W. Beck. In press. The role of ecosystems in coastal protection: adapting to climate change and coastal hazards. Ocean & Coastal Management.

Helping Coastal Communities Adapt to Climate Change

Hale, L. Z., S Newkirk, M. Beck. 2011. Helping coastal communities adapt to climate change. Solutions 1:84-85.

Regional Threat-Based Networks for Estuaries 

Merrifield, M., Hines, E., Liu, X., Beck, M. W. 2011. Building regional threat-based networks for estuaries in the western United States. PLoS ONE 6: e17407.

Oyster Reefs at Risk

Beck, M. W., R. D. Brumbaugh, L. Airoldi, L. D. Coen, C. Crawford, O. Defeo, G. J. Edgar, B. Hancock, M. Kay, H. Lenihan, M. W. Luckenbach, C. L. Toropova, G. Zhang, X. Guo. 2011. Oyster reefs at risk and recommendations for conservation, restoration and management. Bioscience 61(2):107-116.

Carranza, A., Defeo, O., Beck, M. W. 2009. Diversity, conservation status and threats for native oysters (Ostreidae) in the Atlantic and Caribbean coasts of South America. Aquatic Conservation 19:344-353.

Where Oysters Grew on Trees

Jacobsen, R. and M. Beck. 2010. Where oysters grew on trees. New York Times (July 24):WK10.

Marine Hard Bottom Communities

Airoldi, L., Connell, S. D., and Beck, M. W. 2009. The Loss of natural habitats and the addition of artificial substrata pp. 269-280 in M. Wahl (ed.), Marine Hard Bottom Communities. Springer-Verlag, Berlin.

Human Threats to Coastal Marine Environments

Crain, C., Halpern, B. S., Beck, M. W., Kappel, C. V. 2009. Understanding and managing human threats to the coastal marine environment. The Year in Ecology and Conservation Biology, Annals of the NY Academy of Science 1162: 39–62.

Ecosystem Based Adaptation

Hale, L. Z., Meliane, I., Davidson, S., Sandwith, T., Beck, M. W., Hoekstra, J., Spalding, M., Murawski, S., Cyr, N., Osgood, K., Hatziolos, M., Van Eijk, P., Davidson, N., Eichbaum, W., Dreus, C., Obura, D., Tamelander, J., Herr, D., McClennen, C., Marshall, P. 2009. Ecosystem-based adaptation in marine and coastal ecosystems. Renewable Resources Journal 25:21-28.

A National Biodiversity Agenda for Marine Conservation

Palumbi, S. R., P. A. Sandifer, J.D. Allan, Beck, M. W., D. G. Fautin, M. Fogarty, B. S. Halpern, L. S. Incze, J. Leong, E. Norse, J. Stachowicz, D. Wall. 2009. Managing for ocean biodiversity: creating a national biodiversity conservation agenda to sustain marine ecosystem services. Frontiers in Ecology 7:204–211.

Florida Marine and Estuarine Conservation

Geselbracht, L. R. Torres, G. S. Cumming, D. Dorfman, Beck, M., D. Shaw. 2009. Identification of a spatially efficient portfolio of priority conservation sites in marine and estuarine areas of Florida. Aquatic Conservation 19:408-420.

Bioengineering Species

Carranza, A., Defeo, O., Beck, M. W., Castilla, J. C. 2009. Linking fisheries management and conservation in bioengineering species: the case of South American mussels (Mytilidae). Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries 19: 349-366. http://www.citeulike.org/article/4012724

Nursery Habitats for Mediterranean Coastal Fishes

Guidetti, P., M.W. Beck, S. Bussotti, A. Ciccolella, P. D’Ambrosio, G. Lembo, M.T. Spedicato, F. Boero. 2009. Nursery habitats for Mediterranean coastal fishes: the need for a quantitative approach. Biol. Mar. Mediterr. 16: 197-200

Websites and Web Based Tools

www.gulfrestorationds.org. 2011. Informing Restoration Investments in the Gulf of Mexico. Developed by Z. Ferdaña, M. W. Beck, L. Geselbracht, G. Raber, B. Gilmer, C. Shepard.

www.marineplanning.org. 2010. Practical approaches to coastal and marine decision making. Developed by Z. Ferdaña, M. W. Beck, B. Gilmer, V. Agostini, P. Taylor.

www.coastalresilience.org. 2009. Coastal Resilience Long Island: Adapting natural and human communities to sea level rise and coastal hazards. An interactive decision support system and mapper. Developed by Z. Ferdaña, S. Newkirk, M. W. Beck, B. Gilmer, V. Agostini, C. Shepard, D. Major, W. Brooks, J. Stone, G. Raber.

www.marineebm.org. 2007. Advancing marine ecosystem-based management: a toolkit for marine managers. Developed by M. W. Beck, Z. Ferdaña, D. Dorfman, C. Toropova.

Michael W. Beck is the lead marine scientist for The Nature Conservancy. He is also a research associate at the Institute for Marine Science and has an adjunct appointment in the Department of Ocean Sciences at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Beck serves on an advisory committee of the National Academy of Sciences (Marine Hydrokinetic Energy) and on NOAA’s Science Advisory Board (Ecosystem Science and Management work group). He was a Fulbright Fellow and an Australian Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Sydney. He was awarded a 2012 Pew Fellowship in Marine Conservation to promote green infrastructure as a strategy for adapting to climate change and to support ecosystem recovery to help make communities less vulnerable to current coastal hazards.

Beck works on the interface between marine science and policy, on marine spatial planning, habitat restoration, and coral reef conservation in temperate and tropical regions. Most recently, his work has increasingly focused on developing decision support approaches to build coastal resilience and on the links between disaster risk reduction, climate adaptation and environmental restoration.

His main areas of work include:

  1. coastal hazards mitigation and climate adaptation in the U.S., Caribbean and Micronesia;
  2. habitat restoration and oyster reefs at risk; and
  3. marine spatial planning in the U.S. and internationally;
  4. restoration investments following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill;
  5. continued work on the nursery role of near-shore habitats such as kelp forests and on marine conservation agreements, including the lease and ownership of submerged lands.

Mike has published numerous scientific papers and books. (See the publications tab for a list of his latest papers.) Read some of his recent popular writing here:

Contact

Blythe Thomas
Director of Media
Phone: 703-841-8782
E-mail: bthomas@tnc.org

Connect with Mike

Cool Green Science

Areas of Expertise

  • Climate adaptation
  • Marine spatial planning
  • Shellfish reefs/beds
  • The intersection of marine science and policy

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