University of Minnesota
College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences
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Department of Soil, Water, and Climate

Karen Ballen | 612-625-8268


256 Borlaug Hall
1991 Upper Buford Circle
St. Paul, MN 55108


Ph.D.1998University of MinnesotaSoil Science

I teach microbiology and general environmental science. I also write books and magazine articles about nature and medicine for children and teenagers.



ESPM 1011 - Issues in the Environment
CFAN 1501 - Biotechnology, People, and the Environment
ESPM 3612W - Environmental Soil Biology
SOIL 5612 - Soil Biology and Fertility


Selected Publications:

Seven Wonders of Medicine, Karen Gunnison Ballen, 2010, Lerner Publishing Group, Minneapolis, MN

“Foiled!” Karen Gunnison Ballen, Cricket Magazine (March, 2010)

“A Long Winter’s Nap” Karen Gunnison Ballen, Highlights for Children (November 2004)

“A Pond in a Glass” Karen Gunnison Ballen, Connect (May/June 2004)

Ballen, K.G. and Graham, P.H., 2002. The Role of acid pH in symbiosis between plants and soil organisms. In: Z. Rengel, ed. Handbook of Plant Growth. New York City: Marcel Dekker, Inc., pp.383-403

Ballen, K.G., Graham, P.H., Jones, R.K. and Bowers, J.H., 1998. pH/calcium interactions affecting cell envelope stability in Rhizobium. Can. J. Microbiol. 44(6):582-587

Graham, P.H., Ballen, K.G., Montealegre, C.M., Jones, R.K, Fischer, B. and Luque, E. (1998). Characterization of rhizobia associated with Dalea spp. In natural prairies and revegetation areas in Minnesota. In: E. Martinez and G. Hernandez (Eds.) Highlights in nitrogen fixation research. Plenum Press.