About the Illustrator/Author:

Karen Couch Karen Couch is a native of Kansas and began her interest in shells at the age of eight, and in art at the age of thirteen. She combined shells and art together and received the Artistic Achievement Award at the Georgia Shell Show in 1993. Since then, her art has been utilized in her own marine and freshwater shell exhibits, which have received numerous top awards. One of these was the DuPont Trophy for a freshwater mussel exhibit shown at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia in 1995. Karen's art has appeared on the cover of, "American Conchologist" and "Of Sea and Shore". She was featured on the Kansas television series, "Hatteberg's People". Karen, her art, and her mussels travel to schools, conferences, and workshops for educational and scientific presentations. She has traveled to South Africa, Venezuela, and Australia to collect shell material for future illustrations and publications.

She received the Kansas Wildlife Federation's 1996 Water Conservationist of the Year Award for the work she has done with freshwater mussels. This work culminated in the publishing of, "An Illustrated Guide to the Unionid Mussels of Kansas", a book Karen researched for, wrote, and illustrated.

Recently, Karen has completed contracts for:

Memberships includes:

  • Kansas Mussel Study Group
  • Conchologists of America
  • Kansas City Herpetological Society
  • World Chelonian Trust