Karen Knutson has a background in art history (MA) and art education (Ph.D. curriculum studies). Her work focuses on understanding visitor learning and organizational practices in museums, and the ways in which academic disciplines are designed and enacted in informal learning environments. As Associate Director of UPCLOSE (University of Pittsburgh Center for Learning in Out of School Environments), she is working on studies of learning in programs and exhibits, in art, children's, and natural history museums, and looking at the role of informal learning experiences as they occur throughout the lifespan. Prior to her work at UPCLOSE, Knutson was the project manager of the Museum Learning Collaborative, and an editor of Learning Conversations in Museums (Lawrence Erlbaum 2002) and co-author of Listening in on Museum Conversations (Altamira 2004). She has published articles in Studies in Art Education, Curator, Science Education, Visitor Studies, and the Journal of Museum Education.