Karen Bailey
Assistant Professor
Environmental Studies

Office Hours:

  • Tuesdays,10:30 am - Noon

Students can email Karen for a remote or in-person meeting


  • BA (Ecology & Evolutionary Biology) Princeton University
  • MS (Wildlife Ecology & Conservation) University of Florida
  • PhD (Interdisciplinary Ecology) University of Florida

Research Interests

  • Climate adaptation/resilience
  • Sustainable rural livelihoods
  • Human health and well-being
  • Human-wildlife conflict
  • Justice and equity in STEM


Karen Bailey is interested in human-environment interactions, climate change, and sustainable rural livelihoods. She is an interdisciplinary environmental social scientist and combines social science research with environmental and ecological data to understand feedbacks between communities and their environments, how we can build resilience to climate change, and how to support landscapes that meet human needs and sustainability goals. She also has an emphasis on justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion in environmental fields and STEM more broadly and is committed to research that supports, amplifies and engages the most vulnerable among us. Her current projects focus on climate adaptation in southern Africa, human health and well-being in east Africa, barriers to entry in natural resource fields, just and equitable climate change research, and urban communities and environmental engagement.

Note to Prospective Graduate Students

I’m interested in working with eager and driven students to pursue funding for graduate studies. If you are considering applying to the Environmental Studies Program at the University of Colorado and would like to work with me, please send me an email with the following:

  • C.V. or resume
  • A statement describing your research interests
  • A description of why you’d like to enroll in the Environmental Studies program, your skills, and how you see yourself fitting in with my research group
  • Any publications (if applicable, peer-reviewed literature, agency reports that you authored, poster PDFs, conference proceedings, e.g., please include copies or links to hosted locations)

Please also view my website for more information on contacting potential graduate advisors.

A Note to Prospective ENVS Honors Undergraduate Students

I am interested in advising undergraduate honors students that align with my research interests in human-environment interactions, human health and the environment, climate change and climate adaptation, and justice and equity in STEM. Students working with me could collect new data via surveys or interviews, analyze existing data related to human livelihoods or review existing literature. If you are an undergraduate student already in the ENVS program and you are interested in working with me on an honors thesis research project, please send me an email with a) a CV or resume, and b) a brief (half-page) outline of your honors thesis research idea.