Kristen Larson

Associate Professor

Contact Information

Phone: (360) 650 3833
Office: CF 367


BS, University of California at San Diego (1993)
MS, PhD, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (1999)

Teaching Interests

Problem solving is always the focus of my teaching. I enjoy teaching throughout our physics and astronomy curriculum, but my special interest is using real data to teach astronomy with students at all levels.

Research Interests

I study the dust of the interstellar medium in our Milky Way. Dust is part of the life-cycle of stars, the stuff from which stars form and the stuff mixed back into the galaxy at star death. In particular, I am interested in the dimming and reddening of background starlight by dust. My students and I use all-sky surveys of stellar photometry and spectra to map the dust and investigate how the size of dust grains changes the shape of the extinction curve. I have been primarily interested in interstellar dust at high galactic latitude through which we observe the universe beyond, but recently I have been using the same techniques with virtual observatory tools to study dust closer to the galactic plane.


My website

Page Updated 03.15.2013