Dr. Eppley's research interest is at the intersection of literacy education and rural education. Her work explores ideas around contextually relevant teacher preparation, placed literacies, textual representations of rurality, and rural education as a matter of social justice. She regularly presents this research at conferences such as National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), American Educational Research Association (AERA), and the National Rural Education Association (NREA). Her work has appeared in journals such as the Journal of Research in Rural Education, Pedagogies, and Theory and Research in Social Education. Karen's current research includes a critical literature review of Direct Instruction and a project that considers the application of close reading strategies to exemplary picture books set in rural places.