Research Overview

How do we maximize our contributions as scientists and public servants?

STRI scientists offer unbiased information about tropical environments from rainforests to coral reefs — for the public good. Our science serves all sectors of society in the United States, in Panama where we are based, and throughout the tropics. As a premier tropical research platform, we host long-term, large-scale, studies. More than 1,400 visiting scientists from academic and research institutions around the world contribute to this by working at STRI each year.

As a scientist and leader working in a public institution, I believe that a strong civil service is the backbone of a democratic society. Civil servants are the stewards of information that serves the public good and we guarantee that institutional knowledge and capability are retained during political transition at the top level of national government.


1997 Ph.D., Geography, University of Colorado

1976 BSc., Geology, Antioch College, Yellow Springs, Ohio

Selected Publications

Larsen, M.C., 2017, Forested watersheds, water resources, and ecosystem services, with examples from the United States, Panama, and Puerto Rico, In: Ahuja S. (ed.) Chemistry and water: the science behind sustaining the world's most crucial resource, p. 161-182, Elsevier, Amsterdam, ISBN: 978-0-12-809330-6.

Larsen, M.C., 2016, Contemporary human uses of tropical forested watersheds and riparian corridors: Ecosystem services and hazard mitigation, with examples from Panama, Puerto Rico, and Venezuela, Quaternary International,

Larsen M.C., 2014, Global change and water availability and quality: challenges ahead. In: Ahuja S. (ed.) Comprehensive Water Quality and Purification, vol. 1, p. 11-20. United States of America, Elsevier.

Larsen, M.C., 2012, Global change and water resources, where are we headed? Water Resources Impact, American Water Resources Association, vol. 14, no. 5, p. 3-7.

Larsen, M.C., 2012, Landslides and sediment budgets in four watersheds in eastern Puerto Rico, ch. F in Murphy, S.F., and Stallard, R.F., eds., Water quality and landscape processes of four watersheds in eastern Puerto Rico, U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1789, p. 153-178.

Larsen, M.C., and Webb, R.M.T., 2009, Potential effects of runoff, fluvial sediment and nutrient discharges on the coral reefs of Puerto Rico, Journal of Coastal Research, v. 25, p. 189-208. ISSN 0749-0208.

Keefer, D.K., and Larsen, M.C., 2007, Assessing Landslide Hazards, Science, v. 316, p. 1136-1138.

Larsen, M.C., and Wieczorek, G.F., 2006, Geomorphic effects of large debris flows and flash floods, northern Venezuela, 1999, Tropical Geomorphology with Special Reference to South America, Latrubesse, Edgardo, ed., Zeitschrift für Geomorphologie Suppl. Vol. 145, p. 147-175.

Larsen, M.C. and Santiago-Román, Abigail, 2001, Mass wasting and sediment storage in a small montane watershed: an extreme case of anthropogenic disturbance in the humid tropics, in Dorava, J. M., Palcsak, B.B., Fitzpatrick, F. and Montgomery, D., eds., Geomorphic Processes and Riverine Habitat, American Geophysical Union, Water Science & Application Series Volume 4, p. 119-138.

Larsen, M.C., 2000, Analysis of 20th century rainfall and streamflow to characterize drought and water resources in Puerto Rico, Physical Geography, v. 21, p. 494-521.

Larsen, M.C., Torres-Sánchez, A.J., and Concepción, I.M., 1999, Slopewash, surface runoff, and fine-litter transport in forest and landslide scars in humid-tropical steeplands, Luquillo Experimental Forest, Puerto Rico, Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, v. 24, p. 481-502.

Brown, E. T., Stallard, R. F., Larsen, M. C., Bourlès, D. L., Raisbeck, G. M., and Yiou, F., 1998, Determination of predevelopment denudation rates of an agricultural watershed (Cayaguás River, Puerto Rico) using in situ-produced 10Be in river-borne quartz, Earth and Planetary Sciences Letterss, v. 160, p. 723-728.

Larsen, M.C., and Torres Sánchez, A.J., 1998, The frequency and distribution of recent landslides in three montane tropical regions of Puerto Rico, Geomorphology, v. 24, no. 4, p. 309-331.

Larsen, M.C. and Parks, J.E., 1997, How wide is a road? The association of roads and mass-wasting disturbance in a forested montane environment, Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, v. 22, p. 835-848.

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