Kelly McDonald

Project Ecologist II

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  • M.S., Marine Resource Management, Oregon State University, Corvallis
  • B.A., Environmental Biology; Minor: Anthropology, Washington University, St. Louis, MO
  • Remote Pilot License, U.S. Department of Transportation, #4384681
  • Marine Biology
  • Estuarine Ecology
  • Data Collection and Analysis
  • Quantitative Analysis
  • Standardized Sampling

Kelly has a strong foundation in the biology and ecology of marine ecosystems. From her involvement in a wide variety of science and research endeavors, Kelly has experience in aquaculture and eelgrass, estuarine field sampling, taxonomic identification, standardized sampling, and data collection. She also uses GIS for data management, analysis, and mapping of natural resources. Kelly is also familiar with state and federal regulations surrounding marine resource management. Kelly excels at communicating science to the public in an accessible manner.

Examples of Kelly’s project work include the following:

  • Kelly assists with permitting for shellfish aquaculture projects. For example, for the Skokomish Enatai Creek Hatchery Improvements project (on Hood Canal in Mason County), she prepared a biological assessment for Endangered Species Act (ESA) consultation, and for proposed construction of a geoduck operation in Eld Inlet (Thurston County), she wrote a habitat assessment report to determine potential project effects.
  • Taylor Shellfish is developing a Habitat Conservation Plan under Section 10 of the ESA to cover shellfish aquaculture activities in Washington State. Kelly prepared species accounts for 30 ESA-listed and potential ESA-listed species. The deliverable will be a regional assessment of potential interactions between Taylor Shellfish activities and ESA-listed species.
  • Kelly conducted marine mammal monitoring to satisfy requirements under the ESA and the Marine Mammal Protection Act. Work involved 20 hours of marine mammal monitoring during pile-driving and removal activities for replacement of a commercial pier within Oakland Bay, Washington.
  • Kelly conducted investigations to determine the ordinary high water mark (OHWM) of Evans Creek in Snohomish, Washington, to assist with permitting of a project to place a pre-fabricated bridge over the stream. She used GIS to develop a map for the letter report to be submitted as supporting documentation for regulatory compliance and permitting.

“Kelly is exceptionally good at her work, and she is a pleasure to work with. I really appreciate her attention to detail and ability to work within deadlines.”
Danny Kelly-Stallings, K&L Gates