Joel Larson

Headshot of Joel Larson.
Associate Director
Extension Program Leader - Water

173 McNeal Hall
1985 Buford Ave
Saint Paul, MN 55108
United States

Contact me for help with:

Water-related Extension, engagement and training.


Joel is the Associate Director of the University of Minnesota’s Water Resources Center (WRC), where he bridges the spectrum of research to application to address the state’s most pressing water issues. He manages the WRC’s outreach and engagement programs, including the Water Resources Extension team. He also represents the University on a range of external boards and advisory committees, including the Board of Water and Soil Resources, NRCS Minnesota State Technical Committee, and the North Central Region Water Network.

Prior to joining the UMN, Joel worked at the climate program at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He served as the acting director of the Southeast Regional Climate Hub and developed the USDA Building Blocks for Climate Smart Agriculture and Forestry, the department’s initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture, forests, and rural communities. Before coming to USDA, Joel served as chief of staff, adviser, and social scientist at the Bureau of Land Management. He started at the BLM as a Presidential Management Fellow, shortly after finishing his MPP degree from the Humphrey Institute. He earned his B.A. in geography from Macalester College.

In addition to a passion for tackling thorny issues of people, water, and the environment, Joel focuses on his wife, two boys, and their dog. When not otherwise occupied, he may be found fly fishing, homebrewing, or spending time outside (regardless of the season).