Dr. O’Connell joined the Oregon State University STEM Research Center in 2016 as a Senior Researcher. She also holds affiliate faculty appointments in the College of Education, and the Environmental Arts and Humanities Program at OSU. Before coming to the STEM Research Center, she worked in the College of Forestry at OSU in multiple capacities, first as a Postdoctoral Research Associate studying long-term forest carbon dynamics, next as Director of the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest where she coordinated the research and education programs, and then with a staff position in Forestry and Natural Resources Extension which focused on professional development for middle and high school teachers. Kari’s research interests include equity, access, and inclusion in undergraduate field education, collaborative STEM education networks, public engagement in science, ecological data literacy of K-12 teachers and students, and art-science collaborations to science engagement.
Kari has a Ph.D. in Forestry with a minor in soils from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a B.A. degree in Biology from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, MN.