Since joining the faculty in 2006, Linda Beck has developed several new courses that reflect her research interests, such as Political Activism and Advocacy in which students work on a service-learning project with one of Maine's many non-profit organizations. Linda has herself conducted research on social accountability in both Africa and Asia. She has also worked with Maine's environmental community, serving as president of the Maine Conservation Alliance. Her work on environmental issues in the US and overseas informs her newly developed course, Environmental Politics in Comparative Perspective. Linda has published various articles, chapters in edited volumes and a book on ethno-politics and democratization in Senegal (W. Africa), and has conducted research for various deveopment organizations such as the US Agency for International Development, the World Bank, Freedom House, and the International Budget Project.
Scott Erb is a professor of Political Science, specializing in international relations, foreign policy and the European Union. Scott earned his PhD from the University of Minnesota in 1994 and has been at UMF since 1995. Scott’s research focus is on Germany and the EU, and he has published a book German Foreign Policy: Navigating a New Era (2003). His current research project involves investigating how the European Union can be a model for politics in the era of globalization. Scott is also active in the Honors Program, International Studies, and has participated in a number of travel courses to Italy, Austria and Germany.
Jim Melcher was born and raised in Madison, WI, one of America's most politically active cities. His undergraduate degrees in Political Science and Geography are a reflection of his strong interest in the interactions between American politics, geography and history. He went on to write his doctoral dissertation on state political parties at the University of Minnesota, and was the last doctoral student of legendary parties scholar Frank Sorauf. He's taught at UMF since 1999 and teaches a wide range of courses on American politics, government and political thought. He also serves as pre-law adviser. He has become known throughout the University of Maine system for his work on the Maine Public Policy Scholars program, and has become a frequent "voice of the University" in his numerous interviews as a political expert with media both within and outside Maine. Jim and his wife Nancy Finnegan live in Augusta, ME.