Karen L. Norton (1965-1990)
Karen was born April 15, 1965 in Syracuse, New York. She was raised in Syracuse and attended both high school and college there. Karen was a vital member of the high school and participated in activities such as the marching band and the Honor Society. Karen was placed on the list of High Schools Who's Who. In 1987 Karen received a Baccalaureate degree in Wildlife Biology from the University of New York in Syracuse. She was a volunteer for the local fire department and worked on a Wildland Firefighting Crew during the Summers. Karen reported for work the first part of January 1990 as a volunteer Biological Technician through the Student Conservation Association for the Fish and Wildlife Service in Adak. "Karen know what she wanted and went after it." Her friends and family remember her as a friendly, cheerful woman who always had something positive to say. Fish and Wildlife personnel remember her as being "a very dedicated person, one of the best they've ever had."
Cause of Death
On January 29, 1990, while returning from an expedition, the FWS vessel Kittiwake was caught in a sudden severe snowstorm that cut visibility to zero. With the vessel's navigational equipment apparently damaged, the vessel drifted to the western side of Adak Island where it was swamped by a wave. It was the icy waters of the Bering Sea that claimed the lives of Karen Norton and John Cantu, a fellow FWS worker.
"In Memorium" Sixteenth Alaska State Legislature, March 16, 1990.