Paleobotanic research of specimens from Chilga, Ethiopia
Karen is happy to support paleobotanical research underway by Meghan O'Keefe, at Southern Methodist University, of plant fossils collected in Chilga, Ethiopia.
The plant research will help in the reconstruction of the complete ancient environment of Chilga. This study has implications for our understanding of the consequences of climate change.
ISEM, lead by Dr. Louis Jacobs, promotes interdisciplinary research at the interface of people, Earth, and the environment. Louis and his colleagues have an outstanding track record for finding and guiding young scientists, and their graduates now work in major research institutions around the world.
Outreach van and textbooks for the National Museum of Kenya
While in Africa a few years ago, Karen got to meet Dr. Fredrick Kyalo Manthi of the National Museum of Kenya, and Chair of the Prehistory Club of Kenya. Karen and Fredrick learned they were both friends with Dr. Rick Potts of the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, and with Dr. Louis Jacobs of Southern Methodist University ... and a great transcontinental friendship was started.
The Prehistory Club introduces Kenyans to the important role their country plays in matters of prehistory, and particularly focuses on school children throughout Kenya. You can learn more about the Prehistory Club and Dr. Manthi's efforts here: http://www.prehistoryclubkenya.org
Here's how Dr. Manthi graciously described Karen's gift:
"The Prehistory Club has over the years depended on hired transport to run all its activities including the outreach programs to schools and colleges. This in many ways has been seriously hindering the expedition of the Club’s programs.
The Prehistory Club got a van courtesy of Karen Carr of New Mexico, USA. The acquisition of the van is an enormous boost to the smooth-running of the Club’s programs, as it will now be possible to visit many schools on a small financial obligation.
On behalf of the Prehistory Club Family, I take this opportunity to thank Karen Carr and her husband, Ralph Gauer, for so generously providing the funds for the purchase of the van. Many thanks are also due to Prof. Louis Jacobs of the Southern Methodist University, Dallas (TX, USA), who in numerous ways supported the van project. Karen Carr Studio Inc. and The Saurus Institute partnered in raising the funds for the purchase of the van."
After the purchase of the van, Karen was able to contribute $2,500 for the purchase of textbooks to be used by the National Museum of Kenya.
PC for Tortuguero School
Karen's work with Dr. Jacobs of Southern Methodist University (lower left corner in image at right) also led to her support of an elementary school in Costa Rica, whose students live in the area near the Tortuguero National Park.
Tortuguero offers tremendous biological variety, with 2000 species of plants, 400 species of trees, 57 species of amphibians, 111 species of reptiles, 309 species of birds, 30 species of fresh water fish and 60 species of mammals... but as important as any of those species are the school kids who depend upon this land for their lives and livelihoods.
Karen provided a small donation allowing the school to purchase its first personal computer and software, and Dr. Jacobs graciously assisted getting the funds and hardware to the school.
Scholarship funds for The Saurus Institute
Dr. Jacobs and The Saurus Institute at Southern Methodist University have an enviable track record for identifying promising young scientists and scholars, without regard for their nationality or ability to afford advanced degrees.
Under the direction of Dr. Jacobs, The Saurus Institute has helped students graduate from SMU with prestigious degrees and take important research and curatorial positions around the world.
Karen has been happy to assist ISEM with funds raised through the sale of her sculptures and other works.
Funds for The Dallas Museum of Science
For an annual fundraising campaign for the Dallas Museum of Science, now the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, Karen created and cast a bronze T. Rex sculpture. The sculpture and all casting costs were donated to the Museum for auction, and brought the museum more than $10,000.
'Katrina' mural donation for Audubon Insectarium
Karen completed a large project for the Audubon Insectarium and delivered her murals, as bad luck would have it, the day before Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans. After the Insectarium and Audubon Nature Institute got back on their feet, Karen donated an additional mural for the Insectarium.
Signs and roof for the Mimbres Culture Heritage Site
The Mimbres Culture Heritage Site in rural Grant County offers a remarkable look into the lives of the Mimbres people, who lived along the Gila River more than 1,100 years ago before disappearing from the area.
Karen worked with archaeologist Marilyn Markel to create a series of nine weather-proof outdoor interpretive signs, introducing visitors to the ruins and to the lives of the Mimbres people.
As part of a grant through the Federal Highway Administration, Karen was able to turn her donation of work and signs into grant funding that allowed the MCHS to re-roof the site's historic Gooch House, which dates to the 1890s and is the base camp for students who a survey and work at the site every summer.
Student mural project
Grant County holds the sorrowful distinction of having had many of its World War II veterans endure the Bataan Death March, which saw 75,000 American and Filipino prisoners of war march more than 60 miles under brutal conditions.
For many years, there was no local memorial to the courage of these veterans. As part of the Mimbres Region Arts Council's Youth Mural Program, Karen worked with two classes of high school students and aspiring muralists to create one.
The mural project took nearly two years to complete, with two classes of art students from Cobre High School working on it, under Karen's direction and that of fellow artists John Lund and Diana Ingalls Leyba.
The stipend Karen was to receive from New Mexico Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts and local sponsors was donated back to the MRAC Youth Mural Program, allowing the program to continue its work with Grant county's next generation of artists.