Dr. Karen Allen is a recent graduate in Integrative Conservation and Anthropology from the University of Georgia. Her core Ph.D. training is in cultural anthropology, and she has integrative training across disciplines relevant to conservation and sustainability science, in particular, ecological economics and landscape ecology. She focuses her research on the sustainability of social-ecological systems, and in her teaching and mentoring she seeks to provide experiences for students to critically analyze the feasibility of environmental policy within the complexity of human-environment interactions. Her publications focus on the landscape-level impacts of land-use decisions, and the complex value systems that inform and shape human behavior. She has received funding from the National Science Foundation and the Wenner-Gren Foundation for her research.
Dr. Allen believes that the goal of education is to promote curiosity and critical thinking, skills that she believes create successful, responsible citizens that may contribute to a more just society. In this respect, her courses aim to foster critical thinking through hands-on engagement with the material, and analysis of diverse perspectives on a particular subject.