Terrestrial Wildlife Program Manager
Karen’s job may mostly consist of doing planning, public outreach and mounds of paperwork, but the outcome is totally worth it. It’s thanks to her and her team of biologists that a lot of the Department’s coolest on-the-ground work, like wildlife captures and translocation, can occur.
From an early age, Karen seemed destined to work in the great outdoors. “My mom's refrain was ‘Why don't you take the dog and go outside?’" she remarks. “As a result, I was out climbing trees, hiking in the woods behind my house, and doing all sorts of outdoor activities. It was a natural transition for me to work outdoors and a wildlife biologist seemed like a perfect fit.”
For Karen, there’s nothing like the thrill of handling wild animals, but she also gets to witness some pretty amazing things out in the field. “I always see something interesting in the field, whether it is a mountain lion with three cavorting kittens, an insect with super cool iridescent coloring or a rock with a pretty colored vein,” she says. “I do love coati though, and any time I get to see a coati is a special day for me!”
When asked what she would tell Arizonans about wildlife conservation, her answer is simple: get out there! “Get involved, especially with sportsmen’s groups or other conservation organizations. We rely on these groups to help us with projects, funding and support for projects. They are vital to our mission!”