Dr. Amy Larson is a marine ecologist and an Instructor at Portland State University in the Environmental Sciences and Management Department. Dr. Larson’s interest in the marine environment was sparked as an undergraduate where she worked at Scripps Institute of Oceanography and was tasked to wake before dawn to wade knee-hip deep through mudflats to collect samples, spend weeks at a microscope sorting and identifying tiny organisms, and sieve countless mud samples … she was hooked!
She earned her B.S. in Ecology Behavior and Evolution at UC San Diego. Amy then got her M.S. in Marine Environmental Science at SUNY Stony Brook where she studied factors that influence the distribution of juvenile hard clams and some work on the intertidal distribution of an invasive shore crab in Long Island Sound. She made her way back to the Pacific where she got her Ph.D. in Marine Ecology through a joint program between San Diego State University and University of California Davis. She taught classes at SDSU and conducted her research at the Bodega Marine Laboratory where she studied the role of chemical defenses and foundation species in a tidal flat community. Her post-doc work with the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center focused on the impacts and removal strategies of the European Green Crab, which is invasive on many coasts around the world.
Currently, at Portland State University, Dr. Larson teaches courses in Environmental Sustainability, Oceans and Society, Biology with Environmental Applications, Natural Science Inquiry, Environmental Policy, and Research Methods. She practices inquiry and place-based educational strategies with her students with an emphasis on active learning through understanding the context and devising solutions to real-world problems.
As a Portlander (Oregon), Amy does all of those weird things you may expect… raises chickens, brews kombucha, makes soap, makes yogurt, sews, knits, and consumes too much coffee. She gets out to the coast as often as she can (which is not nearly enough), enjoys camping with family and friends, and discovering new food and crafting adventures.