Buies Creek, N.C. - Dr. Michael Larsen, chair of the Department of Biological Sciences and well-known environmentalist in eastern North Carolina, was named Campbell University’s 2011 Professor of the Year by the Student Government Association. The honor is even more meaningful because it comes from the students, Larsen said.
“I was genuinely honored by the award,” said Larsen. “This is not because I got an award, though that is very nice and appreciated. Rather, the Professor of the Year award is special because it was voted on by the entire student body, and I was awarded this honor by our Campbell University students who are indeed very, very special.”
Larsen’s position at Campbell is one of the most challenging of his life, he said.
“Each day I try to give 110 percent to my roles as teacher, instructor, mentor, coach, friend, and even surrogate father figure. By God’s grace and with His strength, I have been blessed with the opportunity and privilege to work with my students and advisees in the classroom, lab and in the great outdoors,” he said. “My intent in all these activities is to demonstrate to our students how marvelous and awesome God is and clearly how He demonstrates that through his wonderful creation.”
Larsen received a Bachelor of Science degree in environmental science from Utah State University in Logan, Utah, a master’s degree in ecology from Rutgers University and a Ph.D. in zoology from North Carolina State University. A decorated Army officer (retired colonel) with 30 years of service, Larsen served with the Logistical Support group in An Nasiriyah, Iraq from 2003-2004.
He came to Campbell in 1995 as an assistant professor of Biological Sciences and coordinated the Environmental Sciences program at Campbell. Prior to coming to Campbell, Larsen served as a post-doctoral research associate at the Aquatic Ecology Laboratory in the Center for Applied Aquatic Ecology at North Carolina State University. He also conducts and coordinates field and laboratory research in freshwater and estuarine aquatic ecosystems.
His on-going research involves freshwater zooplankton communities in Piedmont North Carolina reservoirs; the impact of toxic micro algae on fish populations in the lower Neuse River; the detrimental effects of agricultural (livestock waste) spills on fish and associated aquatic ecosystems in North Carolina rivers and coastal estuaries; and water quality management issues in the Middle Cape Fear River basin (Harnett, Cumberland and Bladen counties). Larsen’s research has been published in the Journal of Environmental Quality and Lake And Reservoir Management.
“The past 15 years have been a wonderful journey, and I look forward to what God has in store for all of us here at Campbell in the future,” Larsen said. “I am blessed more than words can express.”
Photo Copy: Dr. Michael Larsen in Newfoundland.