Mimi Larsen Becker, Associate Professor of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy, is a faculty member in the Department of Natural Resources where she is Coordinator of the Environmental Conservation Studies B.S. program. She is also a member of the Resource Administration and Management M.S. program faculty, and serves on the Executive Committees of the Natural Resources, Environmental Studies and Sciences (NRESS) doctoral program and the Environmental Education M.A. program. An interdisciplinary policy scientist, Mimi teaches Natural Resources Department courses in International Environmental Policy and Politics , Ecosystem-based Environmental Policy and Management, Environmental Conflict Resolution and Public Participation, and Environmental Advocacy. To provide opportunities for UNH and other Universities’ students to learn about an alternative approach to sustainability and ecological restoration, she helped establish the UNH-EcoQuest New Zealand Field Studies Program and served its UNH Academic Coordinator for 5 years. Mimi’s research focus is on ecosystem approaches to sustainable resource management in a global context. She and her students are involved in projects that focus on diagnosing and finding solutions to a range of environmental and natural resource problems. For example, they learn how to identify and analyze the concerns of people who must be engaged, with their governments, in the process of developing and implementing solutions that will contribute to a healthy environment and sustainable economies. Ongoing work addresses a number of threats to watersheds of concern, including those shared by the US and Canada, and the Sao Francisco River in Brazil. Some students are helping develop ecosystem scale monitoring criteria and sustainability indices in the Great Bay and Gulf of Maine basins. Some learn to use GIS in performing policy analysis and auditing; while others focus on designing strategic approaches to environmental planning and action including public participation, conflict management, capacity building, training and environmental education. Dr. Becker’s ongoing research on issues of sustainability is faced with challenges posed by the forces of globalization in Latin America, New Zealand, Canada and the United States.
A strong believer in education as a means to foster the development of an informed global citizen, Dr Becker has maintained a particular interest fostering in environmental education for both children and adults. In addition to her work with the Masters of Environmental Education program, she has been the Principal Investigator for a multi-year Marine Resource Education Program designed to enable New England fishermen, scientists and managers to improve cooperative research and engage in a more collaborative approach to manage New England fisheries. Since 1995 she has been the co-principal investigator the Global Learning and Observation’s to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) Land Cover and Accuracy Assessment Investigation, serving as the education PI. The team has developed and tested protocols and learning activities for use by the teachers and students in the 100+ countries engaged in GLOBE. The team has also designed and delivered teacher training; and implemented a full research partnership program with K-12 teachers and students in various locations in the U.S. and abroad. Also a strong believer in participatory democracy, Dr. Becker has been active in UNH’s shared governance system and has served as the Natural Resources Department’s representative to Faculty Senate since 2000. She served as the Senate’s Chair for 2004-2005, and is presently a member of the Senate’s Agenda Committee.