Karen Viste-Sparkman works for the USFWS at the Willamette Valley National Wildlife Refuge Complex, and attended graduate school as a Pathways student. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in biology from Willamette University in Salem, Oregon. Afterward, she spent several years doing biological field work. Primarily participating in bird research, she worked on field projects in Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Louisiana, Alabama, and Hawaii. Karen is currently working towards a Master's degree in Wildlife Science at Oregon State University, conducting research on bird communities in Oregon white oak habitat, focusing on reproductive success of white-breasted nuthatches. The goal of this research is to provide guidelines for managing oaks, a declining habitat in the Willamette Valley. Karen's professional interests include habitat restoration and recovery of listed species. In her spare time she enjoys birding and gardening.