Scientific Work

I am a geophysicist in the Hydrogeology and Geophysics section of the Illinois State Geological Survey (ISGS). The ISGS is one of several scientific surveys in the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois. My work there involves the collection, analysis, and visualization of electromagnetic and seismic geophysical data.

I am also a PhD student in the department of geology, where I am studying resilience in response to geohazards.

Below is a list of a few of the projects on which I have worked or am currently working, with select publications and outputs from these projects:

  • 2017-Present: Illinois STATEMAP Component of the National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program (details here).

Grimley, D., Szocinski, P., Larson, T.H., Balikian, R. (2018) Surficial Geology of Pleasant Mount Quadrangle: Bond and Fayette Counties, Illinois State Geological Survey, Illinois County Geologic Map. Bond-Fayette County, 1:24,000.


  • 2017-Present: Monitoring of sediment movement along Lake Michigan’s Illinois Shoreline (PI: Ethan Theuerkapf)

Part of the Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant


Larson, T. H., & Balikian, R. (2018). In-Situ Cassava Root Size Measurement Using Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR). Proceedings of the Symposium on the Application of Geophysics to Engineering & Environmental Problems, Nashville, TN.Ruis-Vera, U., Balikian, R., Mwakanyamale, K., Grennan, A., De Souza, A., Larson, T.H., & Ort, D. (2017). Non-Invasive Monitoring of Below-Ground Cassava Storage Root Bulking by Ground Penetrating Radar. Poster presented at the Annual Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union. New Orleans, LA.


  • 2015: Oneida Community Integrated Food System plan development (PI: Alfonso Morales)
    -Funded by the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies

-Wisconsin Without Borders Award (Morgridge Center for Public Service)
-Student Project Award (Wisconsin Chapter of the American Planning Association)


  • 2014-2016: Orange-Flesh Sweet Potato nutrition for Infant and Maternal Health in Ethiopia (PI: Dr. Girma Tefera)