CU Population Center

Institute of Behavioral Science

New affiliate Karen Bailey studies health in Africa

CUPC is very excited to introduce our newest affiliate Karen Bailey, an Assistant Professor in Environmental Studies. Dr. Bailey’s research interests include sustainable rural livelihoods, human health and well-being, climate adaptation/resilience, human-wildlife conflict, and justice and equity in STEM.

Dr. Bailey has already achieved great success in her first year as a CU Boulder faculty member. For example, she just received funding from the Nature Conservancy for a projected titled “investigating systemic inequities in climate adaptation in New York.”  The grant will help support Sarah Walker who will join Dr. Baily at CU Boulder as a postdoctoral researcher.

In addition, already in 2021, Dr. Bailey and Dr. Joel Hartter (also a CUPC affiliate) published a collaborative paper in Ambio on livelihoods and woodlots in Uganda. They argue that understanding local resource demand and local institutions is essential for effective conservation policy. In many biodiversity hotspots, a tension exists between conservation and human needs, especially in regions where local households are highly dependent on nearby resources, including forests. Their fieldwork outside Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda, documented high levels of forest dependence as well as the role of social institutions – namely, “stretcher groups” – in managing woodlots on behalf of the local residents.

Drs. Bailey and Hartter are also part of a research team with new work in Remote Sensing that creatively explored ways to characterize communal resource use from satellite imagery. The work has tremendous potential for fueling important scholarship in society-environment relationships, especially in regions where households are heavily dependent on local natural resources.

For more information, visit the “Bailey WELS Lab” — for Well-being, Environment, and Sustainability — which is committed to equitable and just research that furthers our understanding of humans and their interactions with the environment.