Champions of Change
She is a professor in the Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology at the University of Minnesota, where she and her students conduct research on monarch butterfly ecology. Her research depends on traditional lab and field techniques, as well as the contributions of multiple audiences through citizen science. Her strong interest in promoting scientific and environmental literacy led to the development of a science education program that involves courses for teachers and opportunities for youth to engage in research and share their findings with broad audiences. In 1996, she and graduate student Michelle Prysby started a nationwide Citizen Science project called the Monarch Larva Monitoring Project, which continues to engage hundreds of volunteers throughout North America. Karen is passionate about the conservation of the world’s biodiversity, and believes that nurturing connections between humans and the natural world promotes meaningful conservation action.