Courses at OXY
Professor Larsen teaches a range of Introductory and Upper-Level courses in the Geology Department at Occidental College
Earth: Our Environment (GEO105)
This is an introductory Physical Geology course. The purpose of this course is to explore the geology of Earth (through active participation in class, lab, and on field trips), and for students to learn about the fundamental workings of our planet and our interactions with the environment. Most students are taking this course to fulfill their lab-science requirement and for them, this will be one of the few science courses they take in their college career. For others, this course is where they develop a passion for Earth Sciences and/or decide to major in Geology. Whatever the case may be, I enjoy exposing students to the subject of Geology!
Evolution of the Earth (GEO215)
"Evo-Earth" provides a basic understanding of the events and processes responsible for the development and evolution of Earth. From the origin of the planet ~4.6 billion years ago to the present day, we explore the major changes that have shaped Earth by focusing on the major chemical, physical, and biological processes that have affected its interior and surface.
Earth's Climate: Past and Future (GEO245)
This course evaluates both natural and human-induced global environmental change and the complex interactions of the geological, chemical, physical, and biological processes that together determine the nature of the Earth system. It also explores the geologic record of major climate changes on Earth on multiple timescales (tectonic scale to decadal scale). In lab we explore various coupled climate system components through box modeling exercises and learn to process and analyze real paleoclimate datasets.
Sedimentary Geology (GEO315)
This upper-level course is designed to provide a fundamental understanding of surface processes and sedimentary systems. One thing that makes this course distinctive is the large amount of time spent outside in the field for labs and on field trips (e.g. nearby streams, rivers and coastal systems, and a three-night camping trip through the southern Basin and Range and Colorado Plateau regions) where we collect sedimentary data that is then processed back at Oxy.
Advanced Field Methods (GEO324)
An upper-level, field-oriented course, Advanced Field is centered around a complex mapping projects in places like the the eastern Sierra or Mojave desert. We collect field data using tablets, high precision GPS, and drones to map our field site(s) at cm-scale resolution. Students then work to combine these data with other types of digital datasets to perform spatial analyses, create a composite map, and generate a novel detailed report.