Karen Strom has spent her professional career as an astronomer. Born in 1941 in Fairfax, OK, she grew up in Henryetta, OK and graduated from Harvard College in 1964. She then worked at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory before moving with her husband, Steve, and her children to the State University of New York at Stony Brook. In 1972 they moved to the Kitt Peak National Observatory in Tucson, AZ where they studied star formation and galactic structure and renewed their interest in non-astronomical photography. In 1983 they moved to the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, spending their time there studying star formation. Karen received an honorary Ph.D. in Astronomy in 1986 from Instituto Nacional de Astrofísica, Óptica y Electrónica (INAOE) in Puebla, Mexico for her 40 years of research into star formation.
In 1998 the Stroms returned to Tucson where Steve is a member of the scientific staff at the National Optical Astronomy Observatory. Karen decided that this was the appropriate time to retire from the academic life to pursue her new interests in the World Wide Web. She has spent the time since moving to Arizona as the webmaster for the World Wide Web Virtual Library - Index of American Indian Resources Online and for Storytellers: Native American Authors Online, a website for more than 50 Native American authors. She also constructed websites for indigenous artists and local non-profit organizations.
Karen began photographing (again) in 1978. She studied both the history of photography and silver and non-silver photography in studio courses with Todd Walker at the University of Arizona. Her work has been exhibited widely throughout the United States and is held in several permanent collections. Recently she evaluated the new tools available and decided that she might finally be able to achieve the images that she had wanted to when she first began to seriously photograph in 1978. The images here are the result of that exploration.
Karen's photography resumé is available.