Floral 26

Peter August Beck

March 9, 1964 ~ June 22, 2023 (age 59) 59 Years Old
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Peter Beck Obituary

Peter August Beck, 59, passed away peacefully June 22, 2023 in Austin, Texas, after a valiant nineyear battle with cancer. Peter was born and raised in Southern California, graduating from Glendora High School and Occidental College. He then moved East to earn a Master’s Degree at Yale and a Ph.D. at Indiana University, interspersed with five years working in Africa. He loved his career teaching undergraduate students in the Environmental Science and Policy program and graduate students in the Professional Science Masters in Environmental Management and Sustainability at St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas. Passionate about inspiring his students to think deeply and expand their horizons, he worked tirelessly to develop new programs and fieldwork opportunities, regularly taking student groups to work and study in places such as Costa Rica, France, Chili and South Africa, as well as projects closer to home including Sustainable Austin and the Sierra Club.

Peter was a lifelong nature lover with an adventurous spirit, traveling throughout Eastern Africa, the Americas and Western Europe to hike, teach, and study and took some phenomenal photos of wild animals and birds. Birding was a favorite hobby that allowed him to enjoy just about anywhere, saying “there is always a new bird to see.” He loved spending time with family in California hiking in the Sierras, walking on the beach or using his quick mind and lightning reflexes to compete at everything from tennis to card and word games.

Peter is survived by his beloved daughters, Karen and Isabelle, parents Pete and Margaret Beck, sister Catherine (Michael) Dorman, brothers Michael (Brigid), and David (Rachel), former wife Chao, and numerous nieces and nephews.

We would like to thank his friends and colleagues who were always there to support Peter, and all of the wonderful caregivers at Hospice Austin Christopher House who truly eased his transition with their extremely competent and caring support of Peter and the family during his final week of life.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Audubon Society or to the Dr. Peter A. Beck Research Endowment at St. Edward’s University. The Beck Endowment will support environmental science and policy student research efforts.

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