Hi! I'm Kelly, a.k.a. "Dr. Kelpy" to my students. I'm a teacher, writer, ocean advocate, specializing in oceanic literature, history, and culture.
I received my BA from the University of California (San Diego), MA from Mills College, and PhD from the University of London (Royal Holloway). I've taught at the University of London, University of West Florida, and the Williams College-Mystic Seaport Ocean and Coastal Studies Program, and I was a 2019 Fellow at the Rachel Carson Center for Environmental and Society in Munich.
I'm based in Seattle, Washington and conduct research across North America, Europe, and beyond. My publications include essays for scholarly and general audiences on oceanic poetics and ecocritical and ecofeminist visual cultures.
I'm also an avid waterwoman and balance archival work with fieldwork as often as possible, including as a PADI Divemaster and the Humanities Scholar-in-Residence for an all women's Arctic expedition team from 2017-2020.
I've served as a volunteer naturalist aboard cetacean conservation and education programs, and as a team leader for the Virginia Aquarium Stranding Team, which rescues and rehabilitates (or necropsies) marine mammals and sea turtles. There I saw firsthand the effects of human interference on sea creatures, including turtles suffocated by balloons or tangled in fishing line, whales with bellies full of plastic, and dolphins driven ashore by sonar testing.
When I'm not teaching or writing, you can find me guiding dives with my friends at Seattle Dive Tours or rowing a wooden boat around Puget Sound.