Welcome Karen Oberhauser

Karen Oberhauser

Karen Oberhauser

The Arboretum’s new director, Karen Oberhauser, will start her position on October 1. We are excited to get to know her and move forward with her leadership, expertise, and enthusiasm.

Karen joins us from the University of Minnesota, where she has been a professor and conservation biologist. A Wisconsin native, Karen studied natural science education at UW–Madison and biology at Harvard University before receiving a doctorate in Ecology and Behavioral Biology from the University of Minnesota.

Karen is perhaps best known for her research on monarch butterflies. She serves as director of the Monarch Larva Monitoring Project, and co-chairs the steering committee of the Monarch Joint Venture, a collaborative effort that promotes the long-term sustainability of healthy monarch populations by focusing on conservation efforts within the United States. She also has a strong interest in fostering science-based inquiry in primary education and promoting citizen science and environmental literacy.

In addition to Arboretum director, Karen will be a faculty member of the Department of Entomology at UW–Madison.

Karen has deep ties to Madison, with four generations of family members living in the area. Her hobbies include yoga, cooking, walking, biking, and gardening. She is thrilled to have found a house in easy walking and biking distance to the Arboretum with a yard that will be a great home for native oak savanna plant species. Please join us in welcoming Karen to Madison and to the Arboretum community.