Dr. Karen Bailey
Principal Investigator / Lab Leader
Dr. Karen Bailey is an Assistant Professor in the Environmental Studies
Department at the University of Colorado Boulder. She is a systems
researcher interested in understanding how human-environment
interactions impact human health, well-being, and natural resources.
She completed her Ph.D. in 2018 in the School of Natural Resources and the Environment at the University of Florida (McCleery Lab) and a postdoctoral appointment at The University of Colorado Boulder in the Environmental Studies Department (Hartter Lab) in 2020.
She is interested in sustainable livelihoods, wildlife conservation, global
change, and coupled human-natural systems. She also has a strong
commitment to justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) in
environmental work and STEM more broadly.
Learn more about me via the links below!
Noura Al Ahbabi
Noura is a Ph.D. student in the Environmental Studies department. Noura is interested in studying how the state of natural resources and human well-being are affected by one another. Her work focuses on the influence of Harmful Algal Blooming on the recreational experiences around Colorado lakes and reservoirs.
Noura received a BS in Cellular & Molecular Biology from United Arab Emirates University with Minor in Professional and Creative Writing in English. She earned an MS in biology from New York University (Vogel Lab).
Outside of her studies, Noura enjoys rock climbing, paragliding and sketching portraits of her friends.
Natalie is a Ph.D. student in the Environmental Studies department.
Broadly, her work probes the human dimensions of climate change risk
management and adaptation. Her current research focuses on wildfire risk
and addresses the need for at-risk individuals and communities to live
safely with fire, a naturally occurring ecosystem process, while also
adapting to changing fire regimes and heightened wildfire risks due to
Before entering graduate school, Natalie gained experience working on climate adaptation and vulnerability planning, climate change communication, and stakeholder engagement in decision-making processes in both the public and private sectors. On campus, Natalie is the President of CU Women in Science and Engineering.
Michael Warren Cook
Michael is a Ph.D. student in the Dept. of Communication at the University of Colorado Boulder. He draws upon environmental Communication, environmental justice studies, and Native American and Indigenous Studies (NAIS) to better understand everyday life and environmental politics (especially related to water). He received his MA in Communication from CU Boulder and his BA in History from Westminster College in Salt Lake City, UT.
Chloe is a neuroscience and public health student on the pre-law track at CU Boulder. She is passionate about the intersection of science and public policy, and is particularly interested in understanding public health issues that are specific to rural America. Chloe has spent almost half of her life living in rural Colorado, and she has found that this particular way of life is often overlooked when it comes to public health. In the future, she hopes to attend law school and use her background in science to gain a unique perspective on the legal system.
Outside of school, she volunteers as the advocacy lead for the CU Boulder chapter of Partners In Health Engage, a grassroots organization dedicated to health equity. She loves reading and writing stories in her spare time.
Emma Galofré García (She/Her/Ella)
Emma is a PhD student in the Environmental Studies Department, where she is interested in justice-informed wildlife and environmental conservation and its intersection with decolonization. Her academic interests include wildlife ecology, conservation, Indigenous studies, environmental and ecological justice, and public policy.
In addition to her Bachelor's in Wildlife Ecology and Master's in Public Policy, Emma has over a decade of experience in conservation, including working on projects domestically and abroad with an array of bird and mammal species in various habitats and with diverse human communities and stakeholders.
Emma is also committed to justice, equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility (JEDIA) within and outside her focus areas, including in the conservation and academic communities. Emma currently serves as an individual member of Next 100 Colorado and as an Outings Leader with Latino Outdoors. Outside of her studies, Emma enjoys reconnecting to the land, whether by herself, with family, or with her community, through hiking, climbing, birding, or SUPing.
Samina is an MS Student in the Environmental Studies Department. She is interested in exploring the complex interlinkages between climate change and migration. Her current research focuses on effects of husband’s migration on the well-being of remained behind women in climate vulnerable places.
Samina completed her undergrad in International Relations from Bangladesh University of Professionals (BUP). Before starting grad school, she worked as a researcher at the International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD) where her work broadly focused on climate adaptation and resilience, climate and development policies, and climate migration. Here she gained experience in conducting and supervising field work alongside national and international stakeholder engagement in development and climate decision-making.
India is a biochemistry student with a minor in business on the pre-med track at CU Boulder. She is interested in the human body and its’ innerworkings along with the external factors like how habits and behaviors that affect one’s overall health. India has also had the privilege to travel around the world, broadening her own perspectives and experiences which has made her more passionate about diversity and the different cultures that bring others together. In the future, India hopes to go to medical school and pursue her dream career in medicine all while benefiting society and being a positive influence for others.
In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, fitness, skiing, and trying new recipes!
Alison is an undergraduate student in the College of Arts and Sciences at Univeristy of Colorado Boulder. As a junior majoring in Molecular, Cellular, Delvopmental Biology with minors in Biomedical Engineering, Biochemistry, and Philosphy she hopes to purse a career in orthopedic medicine with an emphasis in bio-techology. She is passionate about equity and equality within medicine from education to obtaining health care and everything in between. She is also interested enviormental impacts from past and current technological advacements on our planet. Outside of academia, she enjoys being outside, finding new delicious vegetarian recipes to cook, and doing yoga.
Shadia Nagati (She/Her)
After several years of following an unusual path, Shadia recently transferred to the Environmental Studies Department at the University of Colorado Boulder. She aims to work in wild space conservation with a focus on environmental justice.
Shadia is the Managing Editor for CU's Program for Writing and Rhetoric's creative nonfiction journals. You can find her writing in this fall's edition of Changing Skies, PWR's climate change print collaboration with nonprofit climate solution startup Mission Zero.
Tyler researches human-elephant interactions around Kui Buri National Park in Thailand. They seek to understand conflict events through social-ecological systems science to gather a holistic picture of the challenges occurring in these edge agroecosystems. Inedible crops are the non-violent mitigation mechanism used to evaluate changes in both species' tolerance, behavior, and well-being.
Tyler received a BS in Recreation, Park, and Tourism Sciences from Texas A&M University (and an MS in Global Environmental Leadership from Colorado State University (Salerno Lab). Outside of academia, Tyler has nearly a decade of experience as a conservation and environmental practitioner, communicator, and community organizer.
Tyler has a strong commitment to justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) and anti-racism within and outside their research in both the conservation and academic arenas. In their free time, Tyler enjoys tending their house plants and spending time with their two dogs (Delilah and Elie) and partner.
Alma "Rosie" Sanchez
Rosie is a PhD student in the Environmental Studies Department dually advised by Dr. Karen Bailey and Dr. Joanna Lambert, where she is interested in Indigenous ethnography as it relates to large scale carnivore reintroduction efforts. Her academic interests include Tribal law and policy as it relates to sovereignty, wildlife ecology, conservation, as well as environmental and ecological justice.
She is a proud first-generation Indigenous Latina with roots in Michoacan, Mexico and Guatemala City, Guatemala. An Oregon State University graduate with a B.S. in Fisheries and Wildlife Science, Rosie's experience has ranged in focus from outreach and education to wildlife rehabilitation, to campaign work on the historic reintroduction of wolves in Colorado (Proposition 114). She is actively engaged with her community by playing a leading role as a co-chair for the Next 100 Colorado Coalition, a volunteer with Latino Outdoors Colorado, and Operations Coordinator for All In Ice Fest.
Shawn is an environmental studies major and philosophy minor at CU Boulder. He is passionate about bringing diverse perspectives and solutions into the field of environmental studies. His current research area focuses on the impacts of recreation in nature on the mental health of minority communities in the USA. Outside of academia, he can be found travelling around the country and the world with his partner, hiking in the mountains, and spending time with friends and family.
Kathryn is a Ph.D. student in the Environmental Studies department. She is broadly interested in environmental justice. Her work focuses on the intersection of climate change and vulnerable communities and populations.
Kathryn recently earned her B.S. at the University of Michigan in Environment and Biology, Health, and Society. Before entering graduate school, she gained experience working for the American Meteorological Society. In her role, she researched climate change risks and hazards and their relationship to socioeconomic inequality in the Great Lakes Region. Outside of her studies, Kathryn enjoys hiking and reading.
Marlee Akerson (She/Hers)
Marlee completed a certificate in Post-Baccalaureate Pre-Medical studies in 2022, and now plans to attend medical school. Throughout her tenure as a CU student, she was involved in two research projects looking at the social and environmental determinants of health abroad and locally. Additionally, she worked with Medical Students for a Sustainable Future and the Climate Resources for Health Initiative, two international organizations working to incorporate environmental health and environmental justice into medical school curriculums. She is passionate about understanding the dynamic and complicated ways climate change, public health, and medicine interact with each other and hopes to continue working in this realm throughout medical school and after. She is extremely grateful to Dr. Bailey and the entire WELS lab for cultivating a wonderful space of inclusivity, curiosity, and growth. She also finally learned what a p-value actually is. The next step is learning if it is pronounced chai-squared or ki-squared.
Elizabeth Bannister (She/Her)
Lizzie graduated in 2023 with a BS in Geography with a minor in French and a certificate in Public Health. She is passionate about community and global resilience to natural hazards and is particularly interested in the implications of hazardous events on various populations. In the future, she plans on teaching English as a second language in France and returning to the U.S. to continue her education and pursue a doctorate in climate sciences. In her free time, Elizabeth enjoys going on adventures, trying not to kill her beloved plants, and tries to pet as many dogs as possible.
Riley Jenkins (She/Her)
Riley graduated magna sum laude in 2023 with a degree in Environmental Studies. She is focused on environmental planning, regulatory processes, freshwater resources, and the intersection between mental health and the outdoors.
She is currently working as a consultant, investigating a broad range of local environmental issues. Connect with her on LinkedIn to learn more about her academic and professional pursuits. While not studying or working, Riley is either reading a book, binge-watching a new true-crime series, or spending time with her family and friends.
Jordan Lee (She/Her)
Jordan graduated suma cum laude in 2023 with a BS in Linguistics and Geography programs. In addition to diversity and inclusion in the green sciences, she is passionate about language's role in identity construction and how we can better communicate about science at all scales. Learn more about Jordan's work by checking out Unmask the Racism - a social media campaign that is working to raise awareness about anti-Asian American racism during COVID-19 and how Asian-owned businesses and restaurants are being impacted. In her free time, you can find her trying a new recipe, listening to the latest Broadway musical, or making a linocut print. Jordan currently works for Boulder County Open Space and Mountain Parks as their Plant Ecology Volunteer Coordinator.
Jensen Miller (They/Them)
Jensen Miller graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder, in 2021 with two degrees in Ecology and Sociology. Their honors thesis investigated Indigenous perceptions of the natural world, (and how these relationships are affected by context), and their academic interests at CU centered on how environmental change affects marginalized groups and cultural constructions of nature. Outside of academia they have worked with various grassroots environmental groups to fight for clean air and water in Colorado and would like to work in conservation on an international scale.
Linsey Mach (She/Her)
Linsey graduated in 2023 with a BS in Evolutionary Biology and Ecology and a minor in Sociology. Linsey is passionate about conservation science, equality within science, community outreach, and marine biology. In the future, Linsey hopes to become a researcher or scientist who continuously keeps in touch with the public about scientific issues. Her personality and passion for outreach keep her curiosity ignited in the science community. She hopes to work further toward a Master's or a Ph.D. in the future. In her free time, you can find her playing with her cat, watering her plants, or frantically cleaning her house before her friends come over.
Liane Minkler (She/Her)
Liane graduated magna cum laude from CU Boulder in 2022 with her undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies and a minor in English. Liane's Honors Thesis explored the relationship between outdoor spaces and mental health, focusing on the effect of the pandemic across urban and rural communities. Following graduation, she continues to work as a veterinary technician assistant in Louisville CO while beginning to look into pursuing jobs in the field of environmental law or public policy.
Anila Narayana (She/Her)
Anila graduate magna cum laude in 2023 with a BS in Geography, with Certificates in Public Health and Neuroscience. Anila is passionate about helping mitigate health inequities and environmental injustices, and she hopes to work with those that are affected by these issues at both local and global scales. She is also interested in researching the physical and mental health co-benefits of community-driven climate action, like the development of community and urban gardens. In the future, Anila aspires to become a physician with a keen understanding of how patients’ physical and social environments influence their well-being. In her free time, Anila enjoys adding to her growing number of houseplants and completing the New York Times crossword (or at least trying to).
Julianna is a 2021 CU grad with BAs in Geography and Sociology. Her academic interests lie in the intersections of societies, environments (built and natural), health, and justice, but almost anything relating to human and environmental wellbeing fascinates her. During undergrad, Julianna worked as a research assistant with Dr. Colleen Reid investigating mental health trends and green space in Denver neighborhoods. Julianna currently works for Boulder County Housing and Human Services full-time, conducting eligibility assessments for programs such as medical and food assistance. In her spare time, she loves taking day trips around the Front Range, spending time outdoors, eating yummy foods, and reading!
Nicole Schroeter (She/Her)
Nicole graduated summa cum laude from CU Boulder in 2022 with dual degrees in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology and Anthropology, a minor in Leadership Studies, and a certificate in Animals & Society. Outside of classes, Nicole conducted research through both the WELS and Lambert labs, held science communication internships with conservation organizations including the Endangered Species Coalition and Glacier Rescue Project, and completed an honors thesis on behavior, ectoparasite loads, and personality in Bison. She now works as an Education Specialist at Denver Zoo where she continues to pursue a career in wildlife conservation.
Levi Van Pelt (He/Him)
Levi graduated in 2022 with a BS in Geography. Levi focused on environmental justice and land ethics, and the human environment interface, particularly how people's lived experiences change their perception of the environment. Levi hopes to pursue a career in sustainability and equitable access to natural resources/land, especially as it pertains to securing indigenous rights and freedoms. Outside of academia, he enjoys spending his time hiking, rock climbing, and bird watching.
Karla Pineda Velez (She/Her)
Karla graduated in 2023 with a BS in Sociology and Environmental Studies. She is interested in learning about how people interact with the environment and how environmental issues impact diverse communities. She is passionate about the environmental justice movement and looks at climate change from a social justice perspective. In the future, Karla hopes to work directly with people and communities to address environmental issues and injustices.
Dr. Sarah Walker (She/Her)
Sarah’s research uses an environmental justice lens to investigate the role well-being can play in helping us better understand people’s relationships with their environments. Specifically, she studies human well-being in the context of climate resilience and adaptation in vulnerable communities around the world. Sarah received her Ph.D. from Colorado State University, and in following her work as a postdoctoral researcher at CU, she began a job as a faculty member at Colorado State University. Sarah’s dissertation used community-based participatory methodologies to investigate the well-being and adaptive capacity of pastoral women in Northern Kenya. She’s an avid hiker and cyclist and loves being in the classroom with students.