Karen was born and raised on Lake Monona and Lake Mendota in Madison and Middleton.
Early on, her parents acquired a 200-acre derelict farm in the Baraboo Hills where she and her siblings were given free rein to explore the woodlands and rocky outcrops. The fruits of their explorations were housed in an old chicken coop, re-purposed as a “nature museum”, which still (barely) stands today.
Karen graduated from UW-Madison with a BS and a MS in zoology, where she studied the development of behavior in sandhill cranes. In 1982, she, her husband, and two young daughters moved to 80 acres of wetland, prairie, and woodland just south of Eau Claire, where they continue to nurture native landscapes.
For over 25 years Karen worked for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, initially focusing on projects related to shoreland and wetland habitat improvement and education. For years, she worked closely with county conservationists and municipalities with the Priority Watershed and Runoff Management Grants programs.
I’m a conservation voter because I feel a deep and abiding sense of connection to the land we live on. I was raised to understand that our natural world is our treasure, and that we are responsible for the impacts of our actions. As a citizen of a democracy, I owe it to myself and those I love to advocate for environmentally sound decisions by those we elect to represent us; with Wisconsin Conservation Voters, our voices are stronger together.