Dr. Randolph K. Larsen, III
Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Photo of Dr. Randolph K. Larsen, III

Departments: Chemistry
Office: Goodpaster Hall 204
Email: rklarsen@smcm.edu
Phone: (240) 895-4597


Ph.D. Marine-Estuarine and Environmental Science, 2002
Area of Specialization: Environmental/Analytical Chemistry
University of Maryland, College Park Maryland
Dissertation: Atmospheric Exchange of PAHs, PCBs and Ammonia with the Chesapeake Bay

M.S., Civil (Environmental) Engineering, 1997
The University of Oklahoma, Norman Oklahoma
Thesis: A Study of Air Pollution in Oklahoma from 1992-1995

B.E., Chemical Engineering, 1991
Vanderbilt University, Nashville Tennessee

Courses Taught:

  • General Chemistry I & II w/labs (CHEM 105 & 106),
  • Contemporary Chemistry w/lab (CHEM 101)
  • Quantitative Analysis w/lab (CHEM 305)
  • Instrumental Analysis w/lab (CHEM 306)
  • Topics in Environmental Chemistry (CHEM 480)
  • Undergraduate Directed Research (CHEM 399)
  • Senior Research Projects (CHEM 493/494) (8 credit/two semester project)

Research/Professional Interests

My research has three focus areas that center around the use of analytical chemistry to answer questions concerning trace composition of matter.

1. Quantifying the sources, concentrations and fates of nutrients, carcinogens, endocrine disruptors, and toxic compounds in the atmosphere, water, and soils. These studies employ both field sampling and various advanced analytical methods such as Gas Chromatography (GC), Liquid Chromatography, and Mass Spectrometry. This work is referred to as Environmental Organic Chemistry.

2. Understanding stable carbon isotope fractionation from biogeochemical cycling or other stressors to characterize systems associated with fossil fuels including coal, oil and natural gas. Work includes field sampling along with IRMS, FTIR and GC-FID analysis. This work is referred to as Environmental Forensics.

3. Performing non-destructive characterization with XRF, Raman and FTIR spectroscopy of archeological samples. This information is used by archeologists and historians to understand more about manufacturing techniques, trade and movement of ancient cultures. This work is referred to as Archeometry.

Peer Reviewed Publications

  • W. R. Boynton, J. D. Hagy, J. C. Cornwell, W. M. Kem, S. M. Green, M. Owens, J. E. Baker, and R. K. Larsen, Nutrient Budgets and Management Actions in the Patuxent River Estuary, Maryland, Estuaries and Coasts, 31 (4): 623-651, 2008, DOI: 10.1007/s12237-008-9052-9

  • Larsen, R. K., M. Schantz, and S. Wise, Determination of Levoglucosan in Particulate Matter Reference Materials, Aerosol Sci. Technol. 40 (10): 781-787, 2006, DOI: 10.1080/02786820600596909

  • Larsen R. K. and J. E. Baker, Source Apportionment of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in the Urban Atmosphere: A Comparison of Three Methods,  Environ. Sci. & Technol. 37 (9): 1873-1881, 2003.

  • Larsen R. K., Steinbacher, J. C., and J. E. Baker, Ammonia Exchange between the Atmosphere and the Surface Waters at Two Locations in the Chesapeake Bay, Environ. Sci. & Technol., 35 (24): 4731-4738, 2001.

  • Bamford, H.A., Offenberg, J. H., Larsen, R. K., Ko, F. C. and J. E. Baker, Diffusive Exchange of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons and Polychlorinated Biphenyls Across the Northern Chesapeake Bay Adjacent to the City of Baltimore, Environ. Sci. & Technol., 33 (13): 2138-2144, 1999.

Peer Reviewed Electronic Publications (Undergraduate Authors in Bold)

Peer Reviewed Technical Reports

  • R.V. Lacouture, R.K. Larsen and J. T. Anderson, Susceptibility of Eastern Oyster Early Life Stages to Road Surface Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs), Morgan State University National Center for Transportation Management, Research and Development, 2012.

  • J.T. Anderson, R.K. Larsen and R.V. Lacouture, Assessing the Magnitude of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Loading From Road Surface Runoff and Its Effect on Algal Productivity, Morgan State University National Center for Transportation Management, Research and Development, 2010.

  • R.B. Coffin, L.J. Hamden, J.P. Smith, R. Plummer, L. Millholland, R. Larsen, W. Wood, Beaufort Sea Methane Hydrate Exploration: Energy and Climate Change, NRL/MR/6110—11-9330.