About Us

Karen Murphy

Karen Murphy considers herself a birder with a little “b”. She represents those of us who are fascinated by birds, but struggle to remember how to identify many sparrows, peeps, and gulls.  Her “life lists” get lost and re-started periodically, but she is passionate about birds and conservation. Karen has a bachelor’s in wildlife biology from Colorado State University, and a master’s in environmental management from Duke University. She managed to work her entire professional career in Alaska, working for the Chugach National Forest then the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Over a 36-year period, she worked in many jobs, but always gravitated towards positions that focused on understanding how wildlife and ecological systems respond to large-scale change. The 1964 earthquake, the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill restoration, Alaska wildland fire ecology, then climate change impacts on Alaska wildlife and systems, were the broad categories that outlined her career. In all these roles, she fostered partnerships across agencies, Tribal organizations, universities, and conservation organizations. Finally, she became involved in the Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCCs) as the lead coordinator for the Western Alaska LCC, which had a strong emphasis on research related to climate change effects. (Karen terms off the Alaska Board in Spring 2024.)

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