Dr. Michael L. Larsen – Biographical Sketch

Dr. Mike Larsen was born in Green Bay, Wisconsin, on August 4th, 1979.  After graduating from Green Bay East High School (go “Red Devils”) in 1997, Dr. Larsen enrolled in Physics at Michigan Technological University located in Houghton, Michigan (go “Huskies”).

Near the end of his undergraduate career, Mike began working in the Atmospheric Science research group with Dr. Alexander Kostinski and Dr. Raymond Shaw, studying the statistics of cloud particle spatial distributions.

After obtaining his B.Sc. degree in 2001, Dr. Larsen briefly attended the University of Texas at Austin (“hook-`em horns”) in an ill-advised attempt to become an applied mathematician. The program didn’t suit his scientific approach, however, and he returned to work with Dr. Kostinski at MTU’s Physics department. Shortly after returning to MTU, Mike was fortunate enough to be awarded one of the National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowships, allowing him the flexibility to travel extensively and complete his disseration while working remotely from the Library of Congress in Washington DC. During his graduate career at MTU, Mike collaborated with other scientists at MTU, NASA-GSFC, Boston University, RJH Scientific, and Los Alamos National Labs on various problems in atmospheric physics and physical meteorology (most of those collaborations staying active until the present day).

Dr. Larsen finished his dissertation in 2006 while living in Washington DC. (For the truly masochistic, contact Mike using the link on the bottom of the page to discuss results from the disseration entitled “Studies of Discrete Fluctuations in Atmosphereic Phenomena”). He then moved a short distance to Silver Spring (Maryland) to begin a postdoctoral appointment through the National Research Council at the Army Research Lab in Adelphi, working with Dr. Steve Hill and other scientists in the Battlefield Environment division of the Computational and Information Sciences Directorate.

Dr. Larsen then accepted a tenure-track position in the Physics and Physical Science Department at the University of Nebraska at Kearney (go “Lopers”). He stayed there from 2007-2010, but ultimately left UNK since cuts to tenure track faculty seemed imminent due to the financial status of the institution.

Starting in the fall of 2010, Dr. Larsen took a tenure-track position in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the College of Charleston, in Charleston SC. In addition to trying to earn tenure, Dr. Larsen is primarily focused on trying to work with colleagues to establish a new major in Atmospheric Physics at College of Charleston.

Mike has many other non-academic interests. He’s an amateur musician. Currently, his musical focus is on developing his own swing and variety band, which goes under either the (creatively named) Mike Larsen Band or the Classic Memories Band. (Low quality samples of some of our performances can be heard here). Mike is also a fan and student of applied probability. He is a long-suffering but ever hopeful Cubs fan. Finally, he’s a pretty decent table-tennis player, was a defensive specialist (i.e. poor hitter) at various levels of recreational baseball and softball leagues (you can see a younger and far more in shape version of Mike crossing home plate here), and hopes to start playing racquetball again soon (though he admits he’s very bad at it).

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Questions? Comments? Want to play racquetball with someone who doesn’t mind losing? Send email to: LarsenML@cofc.edu