Karen Meyer
Karen Meyer. Photo: Courtesy of Angie Gardner

Science education advocate and community volunteer Karen Marie Meyer died in her West Berkeley home on Wednesday, Aug. 14, after battling brain cancer. She was 45.

Karen graduated from UC Berkeley in 1991 and soon after began working with Dr. Isabel Hawkins of UC Berkeley’s Space Science Laboratory. While at SSL and in partnership NASA, Karen co-founded and served as manager of the Sun-Earth Connection Education effort and the project manager for the Energy from the Sun project. Most recently, Karen worked as an education project manager for MAVEN, the spacecraft satellite slated to arrive on Mars in November 2013. “Karen brought enormous passion and dedication to her work,” said Dr. Hawkins. “For more than 20 years, she led strategic planning and management of NASA education programs at UC Berkeley with integrity and dedication, fueled by her vision for making science accessible to all.”

Karen brought this passion for science education to her children’s school, Rosa Parks Elementary. She pioneered solar education days and helped write a $250,000 grant that brought solar panels to the school. The panels generate a third of all the energy needed to power the school.

“Her kind heart, bright smile and inquisitive spirit will be dearly missed,” said Rena Crocker from the Rosa Parks Family Resource Center, writing to the school community.

Karen is survived by her husband, Rich Meyer, and their two children, Erica and Joshua.

A memorial service for Karen will be held at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 21, at First Presbyterian Church, 2407 Dana St. in Berkeley.

In lieu of flowers, Karen’s family requests that donations be made to Rosa Parks Elementary School. Online gifts can be made through the Karen Meyer Memorial Fund website, or checks sent to Rosa Parks PTA, 920 Allston Way, Berkeley, 94710, with “Karen Meyer memorial fund” in the memo line.

Visit the Karen Meyer Memorial Fund website to read more about Karen’s life and her impact in the community.

Berkeleyside is always honored to publish, at no cost, obituaries of members of the Berkeley community. Please email text and photo(s) to editors@berkeleyside.com.

Lance Knobel (Berkeleyside co-founder) has been a journalist for nearly 40 years. Much of his career was in business journalism. He was editor-in-chief of both Management Today, the leading business magazine...