Karen Gebhardt
Senior Instructor
Economics • MENV

Office Hours: Tuesdays 2:15-4 in ECON 203 or on Zoom (https://cuboulder.zoom.us/my/karengebhardt).

Karen Gebhardt, PhD, is an instructor in the Masters of the Environment Graduate Program, the Director for Undergraduate Learning with the Office for Academic and Learning Innovation,  and the Director of the Online Economics Program in the Department of Economics at the University of Colorado Boulder.  

Karen cares deeply about students and developing their potential as leaders and change-makers. As a trained economist, she pushes her students to think critically about the benefits, the costs, and the “why” to any decision. She knows the correct answer to almost any question is “it depends!”  

Karen’s experience in spans work in the private sector, the federal government, and academia. She is an entrepreneur and an educator focused on student success. Prior to her return to academia 10 years ago, she worked as an Economist at the United States Department of Agriculture/ Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service/Wildlife Services/National Wildlife Research Center conducting research on the interactions of humans and wildlife, such as the economic effects of vampire bat transmitted rabies in Mexico; the potential economic damage from introduction of invasive species to the Islands of Hawai‘ i; bioeconomic modeling of the impacts of wildlife transmitted disease; and others. Her current work is centered in economics and her research focuses on improving student learning outcomes in economics education with an emphasis on improving grades and completion rates in online courses.

Karen completed her PhD in Economics from Colorado State University.

In her free time, Karen enjoys rock climbing in the Colorado Rockies and beyond and taking pottery classes at her local recreation center.