Karen Obertubbesing


Student Affairs Manager


B.S. in Environmental Studies
University of Vermont (VT, USA)

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Karen grew up in a quiet town in upstate New York before moving to Vermont, which has been home for the last seven years. While at UVM’s Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources in the Environmental Studies program, Karen’s academics took her from Vermont to Washington, D.C., Costa Rica, and India exploring sustainable development and global environmental justice. She discovered quickly that she learned best outside traditional classrooms, and pursued academic and co-curricular community-engaged learning opportunities. While facilitating reflection dialogues as an Alternative Spring Break leader, exploring urban ecology and wildlife with local elementary school students, and guiding students on wilderness trips in the Green Mountains she adores, Karen found joy in supporting connections between people and the world around them.

After graduating UVM, Karen’s work in an AmeriCorps VISTA position through Campus Compact supported first generation and low-income students access higher education and find success at UVM. Later, she worked with residential students in the Leadership & Social Change learning community where she facilitated seminars, advised student leaders, and supported first-year students in their transition to higher education. Outside of her work in higher education, Karen also ran an after-school birding and ecology club at a local middle school, volunteered as a coach for Girls on the Run, and facilitated at the UVM Adventure Ropes Course.

Outside of her academic and work life, Karen enjoys running, hiking, and most other forms of movement outside. When she wants to unwind, you will find her reading a book, finding a new local café, or lounging near a body of water.

Karen is thrilled to be a part of the team at the SFS Center for Conservation and Development Studies, and support students in their learning, growth, and connection here in Cambodia!