Staff Profile

Karen Swan


Youth Leadership Programs Director

Karen is passionate about educating the next generation of Californians about our food system, and about the variety of promising careers in agriculture and natural resources. She joined the Center for Land-Based Learning in 2007 as the Sacramento Valley FARMS Leadership Coordinator. She continues to serve in that role, and now also directs GreenCorps, coordinates the San Joaquin FARMS Leadership Program, and assists with the SLEWS Academy. Additionally, Karen mentors graduates of SLEWS, FARMS Leadership and GreenCorps. Mentoring first generation college students is another one of her passions.

Karen previously taught middle school science in West Sacramento, trained teachers on new science and math curriculum for a textbook publisher, designed and facilitated environmental education programs at Solano Land Trust, and was a naturalist at Marin County Outdoor School at Walker Creek Ranch. Karen holds a B.S. in Environmental and Resource Sciences from UC Davis and Multiple Subjects and Geosciences teaching credentials from Sacramento State.

Karen enjoys Master's rowing with River City Rowing Club, local theatre, and baking, especially ice cream cakes and lemon meringue pies. Since the birth of her baby daughter, her favorite type of vacation has transitioned from snow camping to family car camping. She lives in Woodland with her fisheries biologist husband, her daughter, and two rescue dogs: Louie, the famous black lab, and Catniss, the toothless wonder Papillion.