Dr. Marcus Beck

Marcus is an Ecologist in the Biology Department who specializes in developing environmental scoring and data visualization tools to assess water body condition. He received his Ph.D. and M.S. in conservation biology (minor in statistics) from the University of Minnesota, and his B.S. in zoology from the University of Florida.

Education

Ph.D. and minor in Statistics, Conservation Biology Fisheries and Aquatic Biology track, University of Minnesota, 2013

M.S., Conservation Biology, Fisheries and Aquatic Biology track, University of Minnesota, 2009

B.S., Zoology, University of Florida, 2006

Areas of Expertise

Marcus Beck is a scientist studying the use of water quality and biological monitoring data to support environmental assessment programs. He has worked to develop biological assessment tools for glacial lakes, including a multimetric approach to characterize stressors of aquatic macrophytes. His previous work as a post-doctorate researcher with the USEPA Gulf Ecology Division focused on statistical and simulation modelling of time series data to improve understanding of nutrient pollution dynamics in coastal systems. He is currently working to develop data visualization tools and online applications to better convey scientific products for bioassessment programs. He is an advocate for the use of open science workflows to improve transparency and reproducibility of research products.

Professional Experience

Scientist, Southern California Coastal Water Research Project. Costa Mesa, CA. 2017-present

Post-Doctorate Researcher, United States Environmental Protection Agency, Ecosystem Dynamics and Effects Branch, Gulf Ecology Division. 2015-2017

Post-Doctorate Research Fellow, Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education, Ecosystem Dynamics and Effects Branch, Gulf Ecology Division, United States Environmental Protection Agency. 2013-2015

Research Fellow, Water Resources Center, Conservation Biology Graduate Program, Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology, University of Minnesota. 2012-2013

Research Assistant, University of Minnesota, Conservation Biology Graduate Program, Department of Fisheries, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology, University of Minnesota. 2007-2012

Intern, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Educator, Long Beach Marine Institute. 2006

Creel Clerk, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. 2007

Undergraduate Researcher, Department of Zoology, University of Florida. 2006

Biological Technician, Florida Integrated Science Center, United States Geological Survey. 2006

Selected Presentations and Conference Proceedings

Invited Presentations

  1. Beck, M.W. 2018. Actionable bioassessment data: Using visualization to bridge the research management divide. Oral presentation. California Aquatic Bioassessment Workgroup, Davis, CA.
  2. Beck, M.W., Sherwood, E., Dorans, K., Henkel, J.R., Ireland, K., Varela, P. 2018. Use of open science to inform restoration projects in estuaries: A Tampa Bay example. American Water Resources Association GIS Spring Specialty Conference, Orlando, FL.
  3. Beck, M.W., Senn, D., Novick, E., Bresnahan, B., Hagy, J.D., Jabusch, T. 2016. Four decades of water quality changes in the upper San Francisco Estuary. Poster presentation. Interagency Ecological Program Annual Workshop, Folsom, CA.
  4. Beck, M.W., Hagy, J.D. 2015. Adaptation of a weighted regression approach to evaluate water quality trends in an estuary. Oral presentation. Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation Biennial Conference, Portland, OR.
  5. Beck, M.W. 2014. The search for truth in numbers: Quantitative approaches for evaluating trends in water quality data. Oral presentation. Biology Department seminar (PCB 3930/4922/5924), University of West Florida, Pensacola, FL.
  6. Beck, M.W., Vondracek, B., Wilson, B., Hatch, L.K. 2013. Understanding indicators of lake health and the utility of a plant-based index. Oral presentation. Gulf Ecology Division seminar series, USEPA NHEERL ORD, Gulf Breeze, FL.
  7. Beck, M.W., Vondracek, B., Hatch, L.K., Wilson, B. 2013. Minnesota macrophytes: Linking aquatic plants, lake integrity, and human activities. Poster presentation. Doctoral Research Showcase, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN.
  8. Beck, M.W., Vondracek, B., Hatch, L.K. 2012. Between and within lake responses of macrophyte richness metrics to shoreline development. Oral presentation. MN Department of Natural Resources Fall research meeting, Itasca State Park, MN.
  9. Beck, M.W., Vondracek, B., Hatch, L.K. 2011. Biological assessment of aquatic macrophytes in Midwest glacial lakes. Oral presentation. University of Minnesota Water Resources Graduate Program student symposium, Stillwater, MN.

Contributed Presentations

  1. Beck, M.W., Sutula, M., Howard, M., Stein, E. 2018. Landscape scale risk assessment of cyanobacteria blooms in California lakes. Oral presentation. Society for Freshwater Science Annual Meeting, Detroit, MI.
  2. Beck, M.W., O'Brien, T.D., Cressman, K., St. Laurent, K., Eslinger, D. 2016. SWMPrats.net: A web-based resource for exploring SWMP data. Poster presentation. National Estuarine Research Reserve System annual meeting, Williamsburg, VA.
  3. Beck, M.W., Hagy, J.D., Le, C. 2016. Quantifying seagrass light requirements using an algorithm to spatially resolve depth of colonization. Oral presentation. Gulf Estuarine Research Society biennial meeting, Pensacola Beach, FL.
  4. Beck, M.W., O'Brien, T.D., Bundy, M.H. 2016. Integrated analysis tools for the NERRS System-Wide Monitoring Program Data. Oral presentation. National Water Quality Monitoring Council biennial meeting, Tampa, FL.
  5. Cressman, K., Caffrey, J., Beck, M.W., Griffin, C. 2016. Understanding long-term changes by linking monthly chlorophyll measurements to high-frequency water quality data. Oral presentation. National Water Quality Monitoring Council biennial meeting, Tampa, FL.
  6. Hagy, J.D., Beck, M.W., Murrell, M.C. 2015. Improving estimates of ecosystem metabolism by reducing effects of tides on DO time series. Oral presentation. Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation Biennial Meeting, Portland, OR.
  7. Bundy, M.H., Beck, M.W., O'Brien, T.D. 2015. Synthesis of NERRS System-Wide Monitoring Program data: Using integrated analysis tools to detect trends. Oral presentation. Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation Biennial Meeting, Portland, OR.
  8. Beck, M.W., Hagy, J.D., Murrell, M.C. 2014. A novel approach for evaluation of water quality trends in Gulf Coast estuaries. Oral presentation. Bays and Bayous Symposium, Mobile, AL.
  9. Beck, M.W., Tomcko, C.M., Valley, R.D., and Staples, D.F. 2014. Analysis of macrophyte indicator variation as a function of sampling, temporal, and stressor effects. Poster presentation. Joint Aquatic Sciences Meeting, Portland, OR.
  10. Beck, M.W., Hagy, J.D. 2014. Adaptation of a weighted regression approach to evaluate water quality trends in Tampa Bay, Florida. Oral presentation. National Water Quality Monitoring Council biennial meeting, Cincinnati, OH.
  11. Beck, M.W., Vondracek, B., Hatch, L.K., and Wilson, B. 2013. Evaluating the utility of a plant-based index of lake condition using neural networks. Oral presentation. Ecological Society of America annual meeting, Minneapolis, MN.
  12. Beck, M.W., Vondracek, B., Hatch, L.K., and Vinje, J. 2012. Image analysis techniques to evaluate effects of lakeshore development on aquatic habitat. Oral and poster presentation. Am. Fisheries Society annual meeting, St. Paul, MN.
  13. Beck, M.W., Vondracek, B., Hatch, L.K., and Vinje, J. 2012. Image analysis techniques to evaluate effects of lakeshore development on aquatic habitat. Oral presentation. Water Resources Conference, St. Paul, MN.
  14. Beck, M.W., Vondracek, B., Hatch, L.K., 2012. Identifying covariates of a lake assessment index to improve biological assessment. Oral presentation. Minnesota chapter of Society for Conservation Biology annual meeting, St. Paul, MN.
  15. Beck, M.W., Vondracek, B., Hatch, L.K. 2011. Image analysis techniques to evaluate effects of nearshore lake development on aquatic macrophytes. Oral presentation. Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference, Des Moines, IA.
  16. Beck, M.W., Vondracek, B., Hatch, L.K. 2011. Image analysis techniques to evaluate effects of nearshore lake development on aquatic macrophytes. Poster presentation. Water Resources Conference, St. Paul, MN.
  17. Beck, M.W., Vondracek, B., Hatch, L.K. 2011. Image analysis techniques to evaluate effects of nearshore lake development on aquatic macrophytes. Oral presentation. Am. Fisheries Society annual meeting, Seattle, WA.
  18. Beck, M.W., Vondracek, B., Hatch, L.K. 2011. Image analysis techniques to evaluate effects of nearshore lake development on aquatic macrophytes. Oral presentation. Minnesota chapter of the Am. Fisheries Society annual meeting, Sandstone, MN.
  19. Beck, M.W., Hatch, L.K., Vondracek, B., Valley, R.D. 2010. Development of a macrophyte-based index of biotic integrity for Minnesota lakes. Poster presentation. Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference, Minneapolis, MN.
  20. Beck, M.W., Hatch, L.K., Vondracek, B., Valley, R.D. 2010. Development of a macrophyte-based index of biotic integrity for Minnesota lakes. Oral presentation. International Congress for Conservation Biology, Edmonton, Alberta.
  21. Beck, M.W., Vondracek, B., Hatch, L.K. 2010. Assessing the health of Minnesota's lakes using indices of biotic integrity. Oral presentation. Joint meeting of the Minnesota chapters of Am. Fisheries Society, Society for Conservation Biology, and The Wildlife Society, Nisswa, MN.
  22. Beck, M.W., Hatch, L.K., Vondracek, B., Valley, R.D. 2009. Development of a macrophyte-based index of biotic integrity for Minnesota lakes. Oral presentation. Water Resources Conference, St. Paul, MN.
  23. Beck, M.W., Hatch, L.K., Vondracek, B., Valley, R.D. 2009. Development of a macrophyte-based index of biotic integrity for Minnesota lakes. Oral presentation. Symposium for best student paper, Am. Fisheries Society annual meeting, Nashville, TN.
  24. Beck, M.W., Hatch, L.K., Vondracek, B., Valley, R.D. 2009. Development of a macrophyte-based index of biotic integrity for Minnesota lakes. Oral presentation. Minnesota chapter of the Society for Conservation Biology annual meeting, St. Paul, MN.
  25. Beck, M.W., Hatch, L.K., Vondracek, B., Valley, R.D. 2008. Development of a macrophyte-based index of biotic integrity for Minnesota lakes. Poster presentation. Water Resources Conference, St. Paul, MN.

Publications


Journal Articles

Beck, M., R.D. Mazor, S. Johnson, K. Wisenbaker, J. Westfall, P.R. Ode, R. Hill, C. Loflen, M. Sutula, E.D. Stein. 2019. Prioritizing Management Goals for Stream Biological Integrity Within the Developed Landscape Context. Freshwater Science DOI:10.1086/705996.

Beck, M., E.T. Sherwood, J.R. Henkel, K. Dorans, K. Ireland, P. Varela. 2019. Assessment of the Cumulative Effects of Restoration Activities on Water Quality in Tampa Bay, Florida. Estuaries and Coasts DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s12237-019-00619-w.

Le, C., S. Wu, C. Hu, M. Beck, X. Yang. 2019. Phytoplankton decline in the eastern North Pacific transition zone associated with atmospheric blocking. Geophysical Research Letters DOI:10.1111/gcb.14737.

Bednarsek, N., R.A. Feely, M. Beck, O. Glippa, M. Kanerva, J. Engstrom-Ost. 2018. El Niño-Related Thermal Stress Coupled With Upwelling-Related Ocean Acidification Negatively Impacts Cellular to Population-Level Responses in Pteropods Along the California Current System With Implications for Increased Bioenergetic Costs. Frontiers in Marine Science 5:486.

Bajer, P.G., M. Beck, P.J. Hundt. 2018. Effect of non-native versus native invaders on macrophyte richness: Are carp and bullheads ecological proxies?. Hydrobiologia 815:1-13.

Beck, M., T.W. Jabusch, P.R. Trowbridge, D.B. Senn. 2018. Four decades of water quality change in the upper San Francisco Estuary. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 212:11-22.

Sutula, M., R. Kudela, J.D. Hagy III, L.W. Harding Jr, D. Senn, J.E. Cloern, S. Bricker, G.M. Berg, M. Beck. 2017. Novel analyses of long-term data provide a scientific basis for chlorophyll-a thresholds in San Francisco Bay. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science 197:107-118.

Bokde, N., Martinez, Alvarez, F., Beck, M.W., Kulat, K. 2018. A novel imputation methodology for time series based on pattern sequence forecasting. Pattern Recognition Letters. 116:88-96. 10.1016/j.patrec.2018.09.020

Zhang, Z., Beck, M.W., Winkler, D. A., Huang, B., Sibanda, W., Goyal, H. 2018. Opening the black box of neural networks: methods for interpreting neural network models in clinical applications. Annals of translational medicine. 6(11):1-11. 10.21037/atm.2018.05.32

Beck, M.W., Cressman, K., Griffin, C., Caffrey, J. 2018. Water quality trends following anomalous phosphorus inputs to Grand Bay, Mississippi, USA. Gulf and Caribbean Research. 29(1):1-14. gcr.2901.02

Beck, M.W., Lehrter, J.C., Lowe, L.L., Jarvis, B.M. 2017. Parameter sensitivity and identifiability for a biogeochemical model of hypoxia in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Ecological Modelling. 363:17-30. 10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2017.08.020

Murrell, M.C., Caffrey, J.M., Marcovich, D.T., Beck, M.W., Jarvis, B.M., Hagy, J.D. 2018. Seasonal oxygen dynamics in a warm temperate estuary: Effects of hydrologic variability on measurements of primary production, respiration, and net metabolism. Estuaries and Coasts. 41(3):690-707. 10.1007/s12237-017-0328-9

Beck, M.W., Bokde, N., Asencio-Cortes, G., Kulat, K.D. 2018. R package imputeTestbench to compare imputation methods for univariate time series. The R Journal. 1-16.

Beck, M.W., Hagy, J.D., Le, C. 2018. Quantifying seagrass light requirements using an algorithm to spatially resolve depth of colonization. Estuaries and Coasts. 41(2):592-610. 10.1007/s12237-017-0287-1

Beck, M.W. 2018. NeuralNetTools: Visualization and analysis tools for neural networks. Journal of Statistical Software. 85(11):1-20. 10.18637/jss.v085.i11

Beck, M.W., Alahuhta, J. 2017. Ecological determinants of Potamogeton taxa in glacial lakes: assemblage composition, species richness, and species-level approach. Aquatic Sciences. 79(3):427-441. 10.1007/s00027-016-0508-x

Le, C., Lehrter, J.C., Hu, C., MacIntyre, H., Beck, M.W. 2017. Satellite observation of particulate organic carbon dynamics in two river-dominated estuaries. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans. 122(1):555-569.

Beck, M.W., Murphy, R. 2017. Numerical and qualitative contrasts of two statistical models for water quality change in tidal waters. Journal of the American Water Resources Association. 53(1):197-219.

Bajer, P.G., Beck, M.W., Cross, T.K., Koch, J., Bartodziek, B., Sorensen, P.W. 2016. Biological invasion by a benthivorous fish reduced the cover and species richness of aquatic plants in most lakes of a large North American ecoregion. Global Change Biology. 22(12):3937-3947.

Beck, M.W. 2016. SWMPr: An R package for retrieving, organizing, and analyzing environmental data for estuaries. The R Journal. 8(1):219-232.

Le, C., Lehrter, J.C., Schaeer, B.A., Hu, C., Murrell, M.C., Hagy, J.D., Greene, R.M., Beck, M.W. 2016. Bio-optical water quality dynamics observed from MERIS in Pensacola Bay, Florida. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science. 173:26-38.

Beck, M.W., Hagy, J.D., Murrell, M.C. 2015. Improving estimates of ecosystem metabolism by reducing effects of tidal advection on dissolved oxygen time series. Limnology & Oceanography: Methods. 13(12):731-745.

Beck, M.W., Hagy, J.D. 2015. Adaptation of a weighted regression approach to evaluate water quality trends in an estuary. Environmental Modeling and Assessment. 20(6):637-655.

Beck, M.W., Tomcko, C.M., Valley, R.D., Staples, D.F. 2014. Analysis of macrophyte indicator variation as a function of sampling, temporal, and stressor effects. Ecological Indicators. 46:323-335.

Beck, M.W., Wilson, B.N., Vondracek, B., Hatch, L.K. 2014. Application of neural networks to quantify utility of indices of biotic integrity for biological monitoring. Ecological Indicators. 45:195-208.

Vondracek, B., Koch, J.D., and Beck, M.W. 2014. A comparison of survey methods to evaluate macrophyte index of biotic integrity performance in Minnesota lakes. Ecological Indicators. 36:178-185.

Beck, M.W., Vondracek, B. Hatch, L.K. 2013. Between- and within-lake responses of macrophyte richness metrics to shoreline development. Lake and Reservoir Management. 29(3):179-193.

Beck, M.W., Vondracek, B., Hatch, L.K., and Vinje, J. 2013. Semi-automated analysis of high-resolution aerial images to quantify docks in glacial lakes. ISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing. 81:60-69.

Beck, M.W., Vondracek, B., and Hatch, L.K. 2013. Environmental clustering of lakes to evaluate performance of a macrophyte index of biotic integrity. Aquatic Botany. 108:16-25.

Beck, M.W., Claassen, A.H., and Hundt, P.J. 2012. Environmental and livelihood impacts of dams: Common lessons across development gradients that challenge sustainability. International Journal of River Basin Management. 10(1):73-92.

Beck, M.W., Hatch, L.K., Vondracek, B., and Valley, R.D. 2010. Development of a macrophyte-based index of biotic integrity for Minnesota lakes. Ecological Indicators. 10:968-979.

Beck, M.W., and Hatch, L.K. 2009. A review of research on the development of lake indices of biotic integrity. Environmental Reviews. 17:21-44.

Technical Reports

Taylor, J., E.D. Stein, M. Beck, K. Flint, A. Kinoshita. 2019. Vulnerability of Stream Biological Communities in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties to Climate Change Induced Alterations of Flow and Temperature. Technical Report 1084. Southern California Coastal Water Research Project. Costa Mesa, CA.

Beck, M., R.D. Mazor, S. Theroux, K.C. Schiff. 2019. The Stream Quality Index: A Multi-Indicator Tool for Enhancing Environmental Management Communication. Technical Report 1080. Southern California Coastal Water Research Project. Costa Mesa, CA.

Beck, M., K. Kittleson, K. O’Connor. 2019. Analysis of the Juvenile Steelhead and Stream Habitat Database, Santa Cruz County, California: Web Products and Recommendations. Technical Report 1082. Southern California Coastal Water Research Project. Costa Mesa, CA.

Afrooz, N., M. Beck, T. Hale, L. McKee, K.C. Schiff. 2019. BMP Performance Monitoring Data Compilation to Support Reasonable Assurance Analysis. Technical Report 1081. Southern California Coastal Water Research Project. Costa Mesa, CA.

Mazor, R.D., M. Beck, J.S. Brown. 2018. 2017 Report on the Southern California Stormwater Monitoring Coalition Regional Stream Survey. Technical Report 1029. Southern California Coastal Water Research Project. Costa Mesa, CA.

Beck, M., R.D. Mazor, E.D. Stein, R. Maas, D.D. Mello, D. Bram. 2017. Mapping of Non-Perennial and Ephemeral Streams in the Santa Ana Region. Technical Report 1012. Southern California Coastal Water Research Project. Costa Mesa, CA.