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UPDATED: Tragic News for the CEP Community

Mourning the Loss of Professor Mark Becker 
Molly Williams

A memorial service and celebration of the life of Mark G. Becker will be held at the IBM/Dolce Conference Center in Palisades, New York. The Conference Center will open at noon, and the memorial service, "A Life Well Lived," will commence at 1:00 pm. Free parking is available. Mark's family will join his many friends, colleagues, students, and fellow environmentalists in commemorating and celebrating the life and impact of this remarkable person.

Due to space limitations, please RSVP via the link below:

It is with deep sadness that we share the news of the tragic death of Professor Mark Becker on Wednesday, February 26, in an automobile accident on the New York State Thruway. Not only was Professor Becker a member of our faculty, but he was also the Associate Director of the Geospatial Applications Division for the Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN) of Columbia University's Earth Institute and a well-known environmental activist in Bergen County. 

Professor Becker had been with Bard Center for Environmental Policy since 2003. He taught the Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) class to both Bard CEP graduate students and undergraduates. His class was an inspiration for dozens of senior projects and master’s theses and the basis for much student work after graduation.

He was also founder of NorthStar Mapping, a GIS and global positioning systems consulting group assisting local government and educators, and co-director of Bergen SWAN (Save the Watershed Action Network), a community-based watershed association that he co-founded with Lori Charkey. He will be deeply missed.

The Bard CEP community began the Annual P4P2 fundraiser this past weekend with a few minutes of reflection for Mark. We will also be putting together a book to give to his family, including photos and thoughts from former students and colleagues. If you would like to contribute to this, please email us.

Mark is survived by Lori Charkey, his partner of 30 years; his mother, Edith Becker; and two sisters, Patricia Schilling and Teresa Soshini. A formal memorial service for Mark will take place mid-March at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University, 61 Rte 9w, Palisades, NY (official date and time to be announced). A hike in Mark's memory will be announced later this spring.

Condolences may be sent to his surviving partner, Lori Charkey, at this address:

141 Demarest Avenue
Hillsdale, NJ 07642

In lieu of flowers, donations should be made in his name to:

Bergen SWAN {Save the Watershed Action Network}
P.O. Box 217
Westwood, NJ 07675, or online to:

or to a charity of one's choice.

Our thoughts and prayers are with those whose lives were touched by Professor Beckers’ wisdom, kindness, and inspiration.


Download: Guidelines for Becker Effect Crowdmap.docx

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This event was last updated on 03-14-2014