Program Director, Co-founder
After earning her Bachelor’s degree in Park Administration and a minor in Business from Indiana University, Karen went to Alaska to be a professional raft guide in Denali. During her time in Alaska, Karen learned the art and science of safe wilderness guiding while exploring some of the world’s most powerful and beautiful waterways, including the Nenana, Chulitna, Matanuska, and Talkeetna Rivers.
Her love of the outdoors and of people led her to a wilderness therapy program, where she worked for seven years serving as the company’s senior field instructor and then assistant field director. Karen was responsible for numerous business and program functions, including quality management, personnel management, training, and logistics. Karen’s experience with business, management, professional guiding and wilderness therapy prepared her well to be a part of the founding team at Elements.
Karen is the president and one of the founders of the Indiana University Outdoor Adventures Alumni Association, which helps young people pursue an education and career in an outdoor profession. Karen is still and active booster of Indiana University, which she credits with opening the door to her beloved career as an outdoor professional.
When she’s not busy managing the Elements field program, you can still usually find her outside. She wishes she had more time for rafting and hitting the tennis ball but mostly spends her time telemark skiing and exploring the nooks and crannies of Utah with her husband, three sons, and dog.
Karen was featured on Stories from the Field: Demystifying Wilderness Therapy on August 30, 2019. Listen to her journey into the field and her beliefs about wilderness therapy.