Kelly is an undergraduate senior at Columbia University where she is studying earth and environmental engineering. Kelly recently committed to UC Berkeley for a PhD program in civil and environmental engineering and will begin in August. She plans to research desalination technologies with a focus on the energy-water nexus. During her time at Newburyport High School, she was the Newburyport GOMI team lead for the monitoring of marine invasive species and an active participant in water quality testing projects, pepperweed pulls, and community and youth outreach events. She was the primary author of the 2012 GOMI Marine Invasive Species report and a major contributor to the 2012 GOMI Water Quality report. During her senior year of high school, Kelly was selected to be a Henry David Thoreau Scholar for her demonstration of environmental dedication and leadership. Her experience with environmental conservation and stewardship as a member of GOMI led her to pursue environmental engineering studies in college, specifically in the field of the water-energy nexus: the intersection of water resources, energy resources, and sustainability principles.
At Columbia, Kelly joined a laboratory group conducting research on technologies for the water-energy-environment nexus. Her research has focused on developing desalination technologies, including the study of novel nanofiltration membranes for reverse osmosis desalination. Kelly also spent a summer in Newburyport working as an intern in GZA GeoEnvironmental, Inc.’s office on a variety of environmental engineering projects around the North Shore. In November 2016, she was inducted to the New York Alpha chapter of Tau Beta Pi, a national engineering honor society. She plans to pursue further graduate study in the field of water treatment processes following her graduation from Columbia in May 2018. In her free time, Kelly enjoys distance running, hiking, playing with her intramural basketball team, and exploring new restaurants and attractions in New York City.