Caren B. Cooper

Associate Professor, Forestry and Environmental Resources
Chancellor’s Faculty Excellence in Leadership in Public Science
University Faculty Scholar


Contact Information
Office Address
5219 Jordan Addition
NC State University
Raleigh, NC
Phone Number
I’m an advocate for participatory science practices, including public science, citizen science, and community science. I pursue scholarly inquiry into these areas with a lens of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI). I’m dedicated to training and mentoring students to become public scientists so they can pursue careers that weave science into the fabric of society.

Research Interests

My current projects use geospatial analytics to discern large-scale patterns across the natural and built environments to gain insights into the ecology, evolution and conservation of birds, as well as expose racial and economic inequities in environmental hazards and in the representativeness of environmental data itself. I develop public science programs that focus volunteer interests towards the generation of large-scale data to study and visualize the interactions between social and ecological systems. My other interests include the ecosystem services of trees and public understanding of urban forests, for mitigation of air, light and noise pollution, flood risk and urban heat island effects. Topics of interest to me include:

  • design of participatory sciences
  • ecology of lightscapes and soundscapes
  • norms of data ethics for citizen science
  • avian incubation behavior and physiology
  • human-wildlife management
  • eggs as bioindicators of contaminants

and any research question that can only be answered via citizen science.