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About Kristen A. Larson

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.


Present Associate Professor, Physics & Astronomy Department, Western Washington University Physics & Astronomy Department

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Contact Information

Physics & Astronomy Department MS-9164
Western Washington University
Bellingham, WA 98225-9164
Phone: (360) 650-3833
Office: CF 367