About Karen Barton

Research/Areas of Interest

My teaching and research focuses on community resilience and adaptation in marine and agricultural communities, global environmental change, and experiential learning. With support from Fulbright and the National Endowment for the Humanities, I recently published my monograph, “Africa’s Joola Shipwreck: Causes and Consequences of a Humanitarian Disaster,” which investigates the second greatest maritime shipwreck in non-wartime history, an event which led to more human losses than the RMS TItanic. My book sheds light on the geographical forces that gave rise to the disaster and the ways in which the Sufi tenet of rafet njort (beautiful optimism) defined Senegal’s resistance and recovery. I have been fortunate to have been awarded several Fulbright fellowships (Nepal, Mexico, Kuwait, Brazil) as well as the Council for American Overseas Research Senior Fellowship in order to conduct my international fieldwork. I am also privileged to have organized and led five undergraduate field expeditions courses to Iceland, Peru, Nicaragua, Nepal, and Guyana. I currently serve as a Fellow of the Explorers Club, the Royal Geographical Society, and as a board member for both Fulbright Colorado and the Society for Women Geographers. I am a first generation scholar, long distance runner, writer, and mom.