Kari J. Craun
National Geospatial Technical Operations Center
U.S. Geological Survey
"Make your life's work something you care about. As a leader, it is important to be authentic and realize you work for the people you lead, not the other way around."
Kari Craun was born and raised in Liberty, MO. She graduated valedictorian of the Liberty High School class of 1980. She began her college career in a six-year medical program at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) but changed her major to Geology after her second year. She graduated from UMKC in 1984 with a B.S. in Geology.
Shortly after graduation, Kari began her professional career with the Defense Mapping Agency (DMA) in San Antonio. She came to Purdue in 1986 after she was selected to participate in DMA's long-term training program. She studied photogrammetry at Purdue under Civil Engineering Professor Ed Mikhail and graduated in 1987 with an M.S. in Civil Engineering.
After graduating from Purdue, Kari moved to the Washington, D.C. area and took a job with the U.S. Geological Survey's (USGS) National Mapping Division in 1989. She has spent the remainder of her career with the USGS and currently serves as the Director of the National Geospatial Technical Operations Center, an organization with over 200 government and contract staff and an annual budget of approximately $100 million.
Kari has also devoted a great deal of time giving back to her profession by serving as National President for the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS) and for the Cartography and Geographic Information Society (CaGIS).
Kari lives with her husband, John, in Rolla. She has two daughters, Zoey, who graduated with an M.S. in Architectural Engineering from University of Colorado-Boulder, and Natalie, who is a senior at the University of Southern California studying Business and Computer Science.