Karen A. Kainer joined the school in 2002. She has a joint appointment with the Center for Latin American Studies, and is a core faculty member of its Tropical Conservation and Development Program.
FOR 6628/LAS 6290 Community Forest Management
FOR 4060 Global Forests
Karen's research focuses on advancement and application of the ecological sciences to support conservation of neotropical ecosystems through sustainable use, typically targeting community-based forest management systems. She initiated her work in the tropics as a forest extensionist with the U.S. Peace Corps in Paraguay. Most of her research has been conducted in Western Amazonia, concentrating on studies in the Brazilian state of Acre, with some recent research and capacity building efforts in Mexico.
To better understand the broader cultural and socioeconomic context in which communities manage their forest resources, she integrates social science concepts and methods into her research agenda. She is also keenly interested in the role of graduate education as a contributor to conservation and livelihood improvement in tropical regions.