COVID-19 UPDATE: The Harris Center is canceling or postponing all in-person programs and events through May 4. The Harris Center building will also be closed to visitors until May 4. Our trails and grounds remain open.
Karen’s first scientific inquiries began in her suburban backyard in eastern PA, where her parents indulged and supported their only child’s interest in the natural world. That lifelong curiosity about all things biology made it easy to choose a path of study in college, and her study abroad experience in Costa Rica exploded her passion for unique plants and animals. After completing her B.S. in Biology at Bucknell University, she worked at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, assisting with molecular research into the genetic expression behind multiple human genetic diseases, especially myotonic dystrophy.
A desire for outdoor research then led Karen to graduate studies in Evolutionary Biology at Colorado State University, where she focused on soil ecology, with a particular emphasis on the responses of soil organisms to changing water dynamics, both in the Dry Valleys of Antarctica and the Rocky Mountains.
Since 2009, Karen has worked as an adjunct instructor at Keene State College, primarily in the Department of Environmental Studies, where she teaches a variety of courses in ecology and sustainability. She also serves as a co-mentor for undergraduate interns participating in the KSC-Harris Center conservation internship program. As Staff Ecologist for the Harris Center, Karen carries out a variety of tasks in support of our conservation research and citizen science programming.
She lives in the woods of Alstead with her husband, Jim, and their two young children, Teddy and Penny.