Erik Larson

Erik Larson

Title: Associate Professor of Geology/Faculty Director of E-campus
Subject Area: Geology
Office Location: Massie 025
Phone: (740) 351-3144


Mississippi State University
Ph.D. in Earth and Atmospheric Science, 2014
Dissertation: Bahamian Quaternary geology and the global carbon budget

Unity College
B.S. in Environmental Analysis, 2010
Senior Thesis: Paleoenvironmental change of Unity Pond, Waldo County, Maine


Dr. Erik Larson is an associate professor of geology in the Department of Natural Sciences at Shawnee State University. Dr. Larson’s areas of expertise are carbonate sedimentology and stratigraphy, GIS, and karst. His current areas of research interest involve Quaternary carbonate environments, carbonate island hydrology and geology, karst mapping techniques and technology, high latitude/glaciated karst, and the mid-Silurian geology of the Michigan Basin, and the application of GIS. Outside the classroom, Erik enjoys hiking, rock/mineral/fossil collecting, camping, reading, listening to music, railfanning, science fiction, and dabbling in stained glass.

Primary Course Offerings

  • GEOL 1201 – Physical Geology and the Human Environment
  • GEOL 1350 – Planet Earth
  • GEOL 1401 – Climate Change
  • GEOL 2204 – Sedimentary Rocks / Stratigraphy
  • GEOL 3100 – Field Studies in Regional Geology 
  • GEOL 4212 – Advanced Geologic Mapping
  • GEOL 4310 – Geomorphology
  • GEOL 4311 – Surface and Groundwater Hydrology
  • GEOL 4420 – Introduction to Geographic Information Systems

Activities and Research

2 people by rock formation by water


Erik’s research and scholarly efforts focus on the following:

  • Sedimentology / stratigraphy of Paleozoic carbonates in the mid-west
  • High latitude / glaciated karst
  • Coastal geomorphology of the Upper-Peninsula, Michigan
  • Karst of southern Ohio
  • Geologic mapping and stratigraphy of southern Ohio
  • Carbonate island geology and hydrogeology
  • Modeling and measuring carbonate dissolution rates
  • Using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to bridge academia and the public
  • Water quality of roadside retention ponds
  • Intersection of botany and geology

Erik’s research is heavily field based and undergraduate students are involved in every step of the research process: from project design, to implementation, to presentation at a regional or national meeting. If you have any interest in Erik’s research or would like a current CV please do not hesitate to get in touch with him!

person sitting on large rock formation

Peer-reviewed Publications

* indicates undergraduate student.

  1. *Liles, P., *Pearson, L., *Barnett, S., *Simpson, D.G., *Fitzpatrick, D.B., Larson, E.B. & Testa, M.P., 2022, GigaPan® photogrammetry for outcrop description, 3D modeling, and 3D printing. The Compass: Earth Science Journal of Sigma Gamma Epsilon, v. 92, no. 1, 3.
  2. *Liles, P., *Pearson, L., *Barnett, S., *Simpson, D.G., *Fitzpatrick, D.B., Larson, E.B. & Testa, M.P., 2022, From outcrops to 3D models and printing: The Professional Geologist, v. 59, no. 2, p. 19-24.
  3. Larson, E.B., *Emmons, R.V., 2021, Dissolution of carbonate rocks in a laboratory setting: Rates and textures: Minerals, v. 11, no. 6, 605, doi 10.3390/min11060605.
  4. Sumrall, J.B., *Gauvey, K.L., Sumrall, J.L., *Sides, K.E. & Larson, E.B. (2020), Paleosol and cave mineralogy from Eleuthera, The Bahamas: in Niemi, T.M. & Sealey, K.S., Proceedings of the Second Joint Symposium of the Natural History and Geology of The Bahamas, Gerace Research Centre, San Salvador, Bahamas, p. 9-17.
  5. Sumrall, J.B. & Larson, E.B., 2020, Outcrop and thin section scale descriptions of Silurian carbonates within the Hiawatha National Forest, Mackinac County, Upper Peninsula, Michigan, USA: Carbonates and Evaporites, v. 35, no. 4, 105, doi: 10.1007/s13146-020-00640-2.
  6. Frisbee, M.D., Meyers, Z.P., Miller, J.B., Gleason, C.L., Stewart-Maddox, N.S., Larson, E.B., Granger, D.E., Saksena, S., Dey, S. & Frisbee, E.E., 2019, Processes leading to the re-activation of a sinkhole in buried karst and the subsequent drying of waterfalls in a small catchment located in northern Indiana, USA: Journal of Cave and Karst Studies, v. 81, no. 2, p. 69-83, doi 10.4311/2017ES0116
  7. Larson, E.B. & Mylroie, J.E., 2018, Diffuse versus conduit flow in coastal karst aquifers: The consequences of island area and perimeter relationships: Geosciences, v. 8, no. 7, 268, doi: 10.3390/geosciences8070268.
  8. Sumrall, J.L., Clary, R.M. & Larson, E.B., 2017, Influence of geographic affiliation on student performance in online geology and meteorology courses: Journal of Geoscience Education, v. 65, no. 3, p. 336-345, doi 10.5408/15-139.1.
  9. Sumrall, J.B., Larson, E.B. & Mylroie, J.E., 2017, Very high magnesium calcite formation and microbial communities found in porosity of the Seroe Domi formation of Curacao, Netherland Antilles: Carbonates and Evaporites, v. 32, no. 2, p. 123-133, doi: 10.1007/s13146-017-0352-7.
  10. Sumrall, J.B., Larson, E.B. & Mylroie, J.E., 2016, Caves within dolomitized sections of the Seroe Domi Formation on Curacao, Netherland Antilles: Acta Carsologica, v. 45, no. 1, p. 19-32, doi: 10.3986/ac.v45i1.650.
  11. Kambesis, P.N., Larson, E.B. & Mylroie, J.E., 2016, Morphometric analysis of cave patterns using fractal indicies: in Feinberg, J., Gao, Y & Alexander, Jr., E.C., Caves and Karst Across Time: Geological Society of America Special Paper 516, p. 67-86, doi: 10.1130/2016.2516(06).
  12. Kambesis, P.N., Mylroie, J.R., Mylroie, J.E., Larson, E.B., Owen-Nagel, A.M. & Sumrall, J.B., 2016, Influence of karst denudation on the northwest coast of Curacao: in Glumac, B. & Savarese, M., eds., Proceedings of the 16th Symposium on the Geology of the Bahamas and other Carbonate Regions, Gerace Research Centre, San Salvador, Bahamas, p. 200-212.
  13. Larson, E.B., Mylroie, J.E., Albury, N., Kakuk, B. & Iliffe, T., 2016, Infilled blue holes on the Bahama banks as point sources for whiting origin: in Glumac, B. & Savarese, M., eds., Proceedings of the 16th Symposium on the Geology of the Bahamas and other Carbonate Regions, Gerace Research Centre, San Salvador, Bahamas, p. 237-242.
  14. Mylroie, J.E., Kambesis, P.N., Owen, A.M., Sumrall, J.B., Larson, E.B., Mylroie, J.R. & Lace, M.J., 2016, Flank margin cave development at Cala Pi and Cala Figuera, Mallorca Island, Spain: in Glumac, B. & Savarese, M., eds., Proceedings of the 16th Symposium on the Geology of the Bahamas and other Carbonate Regions, Gerace Research Centre, San Salvador, Bahamas, p. 213-221.
  15. Larson, E.B. & Mylroie, J.E., 2014, A review of whiting formation in the Bahamas and new models: Carbonates and Evaporites, v. 29, p. 337-347, doi: 10.1007/s13146-014-0212-7
  16. Larson, E.B. & Mylroie, J.E., 2013, Quaternary glacial cycles: Karst processes and the global CO2 budget: Acta Carsologica, v. 42, no. 2-3, p. 197-202, doi: 10.3986/ac.v42i2-3.661
  17. Alexander, S.C., Rahimi, M., Larson, E.B., Bomberger, C., Greenwaldt, B & Alexander, Jr., E.C., 2013, Combining LiDAR, aerial photography, and Pictometry® tools for karst features database management: in: NCKRI Symposium 2: Proceedings of the 13th Multidisciplinary Conference on Sinkholes and the Engineering and Environmental Impacts of Karst May 6-10, 2013: Land, L., Doctor, D.H. & Stephenson, J.B (eds.), p. 441-448.

Additional Information

  • 2019: Young Scientist Award – Given by the Geological Society of America’s Karst Division 
  • 2018: Award for Excellence in Research and Scholarship – Given by the Shawnee State University Faculty Senate
  • Ohio Cave Survey
  • American Association of Petroleum Geologists
  • Geological Society of America
  • National Speleological Society