Karen Knutson

Associate Director, UPCLOSE



Education and Training

PhD, University of British Columbia, Vancouver

Research Interests

Museums/After School programs

Related Research Areas

Informal & Life-long Learning

Recent Publications

Knutson, K., & Crowley, K. (2022).  Museums and community-based organizations partnering to support family literacy. Afterschool Matters, 35.  

Knutson, K. & Crowley, K. (2021). Family learning and literacy in urban settings. William Penn Foundation.

Knutson, K., Okada, T., & Crowley, K. (Eds.). (2020). Multidisciplinary approaches to art learning and creativity: Fostering artistic exploration in formal and informal settings. Routledge.

Knutson, K., Crowley, K., Russell, J.L., & Steiner, M.A. (2020). Approaching art education as an ecology: Exploring the role of museums. Karen Knutson, Takeshi Okada, Kevin Crowley (Eds.), Multidisciplinary approaches to art learning and creativity. (pp.218-231). Routledge.

Knutson, K. & Crowley, K. (2016). Collaborating across the university/informal boundary: Broader impacts through informal science education. In L. Avraamidou & W.-M. Roth (Eds.), Intersections of formal and informal science. New York, NY: Routledge.

News and Awards

Karen Knutson and Kevin Crowley were featured in the September 2022 Research News for their publication "Museums and Community-based Organizations Support Family Literacy."

September 21, 2022


Pittwire article "Research Team Sparks Community Conversation about Climate Change, "features the community outreach of the University of Pittsburgh Center for Learning in Out of School Environments (UPCLOSE) Director Kevin Crowley, Associate Director Karen Knutson, research associate Mary Ann Steiner, and undergrad anthropology team member Sean Barill.

March 2, 2020


The Philadelphia-based William Penn Foundation has awarded nearly $1.6 million to renew the Informal Learning Initiative, a two-year collaboration of organizations that includes the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Learning in Out-of-School Environments (UPCLOSE).

September 4, 2019


Kevin Crowley, Karen Knutson, and their collaborators at the Carnegie Museum of have been awarded a grant from the Spencer Foundation for their project " The 21st Century Naturalist: A Research-practice Collaboration for Informal Science Education."

February 2016

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