Karen Adams PhD
Senior Wetland Ecologist, Monitoring Lead
As Wapato Valley’s senior wetland ecologist and monitoring lead, Karen brings over 23 years of experience in monitoring the health and status of watershed conditions, specializing in wetlands and aquatic habitats. Karen is responsible for the day to day activities of the field staff and directs the collection of all baseline and post-restoration monitoring data, analysis and reporting required for the development and implementation of the Wapato Valley Mitigation and Conservation Bank. Karen brings her eye for detail to the protocol development, adaptive management, and QA/QC of all biotic and abiotic field data and works closely with our GIS staff to implement digital data collection and manage the georeferencing of all data. She works with field and farm staff to implement pilot projects of experimental techniques or approaches that inform the design, implementation and future management plans for Wapato Valley Mitigation and Conservation Bank. Karen has earned degrees in Environmental Science, Wetlands Biology, and Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. In her academic career, Karen investigated the effects of channel modification for flood management on forested wetlands, and the interactions between native and invasive wetland plant species. In addition to working in and around Washington State’s salmon bearing streams and rivers, Karen has investigated the ecological relationships between plants, animals, and their environment in various habitats around the country including southern California’s Chaparral, the Mississippi River Floodplain, the Tennessee River Valley, Appalachian foothills, and Louisiana’s coastal cypress swamps. In addition to extensive field experience, she has worked to develop and implement monitoring protocols for Washington Department of Ecology and the Lower Columbia Fish Recovery Board. Karen has experience working with a range of public and private entities in her past positions with local, state, and federal governments where she provided technical input to various projects and communicated about those projects with broad audiences. Karen has been on staff since January of 2016. In her free time, Karen enjoys the outdoors, hiking, gardening, yoga, cooking, and spending time with her family.